The most eloquent, most consistent conservative leader in the country finally gets a chance next week to speak not just for himself, but about himself. All Americans with open minds are likely to find themselves enthralled.
The leader in question is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The occasion is the publication, in conjunction with the opening of the 2007-2008 high court term, of Thomas’ autobiography: My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir. Unlike in the cases of so many public figures, Thomas wrote it himself, with no ghostwriter; advance reports say it will be remarkably candid, including frank discussion of Thomas’ infamous hearings before a circus-like Senate Judiciary Committee while being blind-sided by charges of sexual harassment.
As conservatives have learned to their delight since then, and as liberals have learned to their chagrin, Thomas has adhered steadfastly to an intellectually consistent approach — supremely so — to jurisprudence. Long gone, at least for all who have paid the slightest bit of attention to a spate of books on the Supreme Court in recent years, is the notion that Thomas is a results-oriented clone of fellow Justice Antonin Scalia.
Instead, as ABC’s Jan Crawford Greenburg reports this year in her excellent book Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court, that notion of Thomas as Scalia’s understudy is “grossly inaccurate.” Scalia has found himself changing his mind to follow Thomas’ lead at least as often as Thomas has changed his own to follow Scalia.
Meanwhile, Thomas’s writing (in his court decisions) has been a model of clarity, consistency, and (often) concision. Far less flamboyant than Scalia’s writing, it nonetheless packs eloquence in its directness and its internal logic. This holds true whether Thomas is explaining the letter of the law or whether he is explaining, by way of essential background (but not in place of originalist textual reading), the spirit or meaning that undergirds the law in question.p>Consider the entirety of Thomas’s dissent from the majority ruling in the Lawrence v. Texas case that threw out a law that made private homosexual conduct illegal: br> /p> blockquote>I join Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion. I write separately to note that the law before the Court today “is … uncommonly silly.” Griswold v. Connecticut , 381 U.S. 479, 527 (1965) (Stewart, J., dissenting). If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it. Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valuable law enforcement resources. br> Notwithstanding this, I recognize that as a member of this Court I am not empowered to help petitioners and others similarly situated. My duty, rather, is to “decide cases ‘agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States.’ ” Id
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online