So rarely, and rightfully so, do Supreme Court Justices speak out publicly, that when they do, it is interesting, if not useful, to listen to what they have to say. Recently Justice Clarence Thomas spoke at the Heritage Foundation. In that talk he made a number of points, beginning with the, accurate but uselessly vague, notion that Washington is in many ways “broken”, and that government institutions are being destroyed by an inability to debate issues with civility.
In my opinion Thomas really misses the mark. Civility is nice, but when the Constitution, and the liberty it guarantees, is being destroyed, civility is not the paramount concern. After all, despotic governments can destroy liberty in a civil tone … nice sounding words, in an NPR cadence, all the better to deceive. So screw civility. Our governmental institution are being destroyed because the Constitution is being destroyed, not the other way round. And I find it disturbing that Thomas, as a man charged with defending the Constitution and consequently our liberties, seems to confuse cause and effect.
Amplifying on his “broken” comment, Thomas placed the blame for Washington’s being “broken” not on just the Legislative and Executive branches of government, but also on the Court itself, asking:
“What have we [The Court] done to gain their [The American Peoples’] confidence?” he asked. “Perhaps we should ask ourselves what we have done to not earn it or to earn it.”
When I read this my head nearly exploded. You see, I nearly quit law school after taking the school’s 1st course in Constitutional Law. Why? Because instead of finding a history of the Court strongly defending the individual liberties of the American People, I found a record of the Supreme Court steadily, and increasingly rapidly in modern times, destroying the same in idiotic decision after stupid decision. I admit to being naive when entering law school. But still, seeing the truly wretched history of our Supreme Court’s decisions laying waste to the Constitution so demoralized me, and broke my heart, that, as I said, I nearly quit. So yes, Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court has done damn little to earn the trust of the American People. And if I ran the zoo, I’d get rid of a bunch of Justices and their leftist clerks (keeping only Alito & Thomas), fill the vacancies with genuine originalists, and for the next year have them review and either trash or fix all of the Court’s decisions to bring them back in line with the Constitution. Because, Justice Thomas, things are that damn bad on the Court, and there is little hope of incrementally fixing the damage already done while the Supreme buffoons continue willy nilly making unconstitutional decisions.
I have been hard on Justice Thomas. Because he did, at Heritage, acknowledge that the Court’s precedents ought to be constantly reviewed and changed if necessary to comply with the Constitution. Exactly Sir! Bravo! Go forth, good Knight, and slay the precedent dragon.
Had Thomas ended things there, I might have been heartened. But, after Thomas commented that the Affordable Care Act was something of a misnomer … Really Sir? (sigh) … Well, at least he gets that much, he ended his remarks on, for me, a surprising and sour note:
He reads and trusts only “friend of the court” briefs that come from reliable sources, such as the U.S. solicitor general’s office and the American Civil Liberties Union. But “Law Professors for a Better World,” he mused, making up the name? Not so much.
The ACLU? Really? The communist founded, leftist infiltrated, liberty destroying ACLU. That’s an example of the kind of legal organization that you trust? Dear God Sir, pull your head out of your ass. Because if you do not see the ACLU for the evil organization that it is, (and yes, I know occasionally they get something correct – but that’s the rare exception in a sea of wrong), then you Sir have lost your focus on liberty. Ordered liberty Sir; that is where your focus needs to be. Keep your focus there, protect and defend that, and the Constitution will be fine. Jesus man, just do your damn job. Defend and protect the Constitution. It’s a simple concept. Don’t complicate it. Just do it.