LEE, Twenty Years, Twenty Eight Years discussed on Morning Edition

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

They write Lee negative and horrible insults articles we can sue them and went to lots of money that was true at a fort worth Texas rally in twenty sixteen as a private citizen he repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to sue his media critics trump has been particularly solicitous of justice Thomas and his wife Ginny who was a vocal conservative activist the Thomases dined with the trumps at the White House this year soon after Jenny Thomas led a group of fellow social conservatives in a one hour meeting with trump the trunk Thomas relationship may have been responsible for retirement rumors fueled by some conservatives who apparently wanted the seventy one year old Thomas to step down so the trump could replace him with the younger conservative able to serve for thirty or forty more years if that was the plan it didn't work as Thomas made clear during an interview at Pepperdine University as well let's fast forward to twenty years from now at your retirement party I'm not gonna argue the twin to twin of it I'm not retired twenty years early years after each of Thomas is twenty eight years on the court analysts have offered different theories about his jurisprudence Brooklyn College professor Corey robin has a book coming out this fall contending that Thomases overriding legal philosophy stems from his views as a black nationalist the way I understand Thomas is that he believes that the American state in particular is imbued with race and racial consciousness and he thinks it's kind of a fool's errand to try to change that Thomas is to send in this terms jury discrimination case would fit right into that category his solution to white prosecutors discriminating against black jurors is to allow similar discrimination by defense lawyers against white jurors to an entirely different view comes from professor Ralph Rossum of Claremont McKenna college author of another book about Thomas Rossum says that Thomas disdains prior Supreme Court rulings because they get him further and further away from the original constitution if you have a finally rock piece of furniture and you put a layer after layer of paint on it pretty soon all the detail is lost under the coats of paint and what Thomas wants to do is scrape back to bare wood to the original text but even the man who made originalism popular the late justice Antonin Scalia did not have such a purist view unlike Thomas Cooley it did believe in precedent as he famously put it I'm an originalist but I'm not I'm not university of Baltimore law professor Garrett app sees Thomas unique views as arrogant as an example he points to a Thomas opinion in which the justice referred to James Madison's views on separation of church and state as quote extreme and said that quote in any event the views of one man do not establish the original meaning of the first amendment religion classes wait a minute you just call Jane Madison the father of the bill of rights you just call him an extremist particularly in the area of religious freedom which is the area he is most identified with S. maintains that if you read Clarence Thomas's jurisprudence the views of only one man count how much alone knows the original meaning of these provisions and even Madison who wrote them can be disregarded now that takes a level of confidence or megalomania that I find really breathtaking it is however important not to dismiss Clarence thomas' views Yale's professor Amar acknowledges that Thomas is not written many high profile majority opinions for the court if you think that the measure of the success of the justices how many majority opinions he writes that well then Thomas rank somewhat lower but if instead the game a score by how many new ideas someone gets into the conversation and eventually wins on well the Thomases way high in the pecking order indeed if the new Supreme Court conservative majority begins rethinking lots of long held precedence.

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