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Old 08-30-2011, 11:57 PM  
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Will the "Thomases" eventually stop Obamacare?

One "excellent" read but very long. I only pasted the first segment here in this thread so just go to the link for the rest. For those who bought into the argument that Clarence Thomas just shadows Scalia and is no intellectual giant better think again.

Toobin of the New Yorker who is a big Progressive Lib writes an excellent piece about Thomas and his wife and how they are working against Obamacare and creating the "Constitutional Infrastructure Argument" ahead of time so as to defeat Obamacare by the time it hits the SC for a decision.

Toobin writes this piece IMO for 2 big reasons. 1)He is alerting his Marxist friends that Thomas is not F'ing around and is to be taken serious because he has been very successful in any legal argument against liberalism he pursues. 2) Which means now the "Alinskyizing of Clarence and his wife must begin with the intensity never seen before in hopes that the public will want Thomas to be recused, step down because of a conflict of interest.

Annals of LawPartners

Will Clarence and Virginia Thomas succeed in killing Obama’s health-care plan? by Jeffrey Toobin

August 29, 2011 .As the Justice has assumed an influential role on the Roberts Court, his wife has helped lead the public war against the Administration.

It has been, in certain respects, a difficult year for Clarence Thomas. In January, he was compelled to amend several years of the financial-disclosure forms that Supreme Court Justices must file each year. The document requires the Justices to disclose the source of all income earned by their spouses, and Thomas had failed to note that his wife, Virginia, who is known as Ginni, worked as a representative for a Michigan college and at the Heritage Foundation.

The following month, seventy-four members of Congress called on Thomas to recuse himself from any legal challenges to President Obama’s health-care reform, because his wife has been an outspoken opponent of the law. At around the same time, Court observers noted the fifth anniversary of the last time that Thomas had asked a question during an oral argument. The confluence of these events produced the kind of public criticism, and even mockery, that Thomas had largely managed to avoid since his tumultuous arrival on the Court, twenty years ago this fall.

These tempests obscure a larger truth about Thomas: that this year has also been, for him, a moment of triumph. In several of the most important areas of constitutional law, Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court. Since the arrival of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in 2005, and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., in 2006, the Court has moved to the right when it comes to the free-speech rights of corporations, the rights of gun owners, and, potentially, the powers of the federal government; in each of these areas, the majority has followed where Thomas has been leading for a decade or more. Rarely has a Supreme Court Justice enjoyed such broad or significant vindication.

The conventional view of Thomas takes his lack of participation at oral argument as a kind of metaphor. The silent Justice is said to be an intellectual nonentity, a cipher for his similarly conservative colleague, Antonin Scalia. But those who follow the Court closely find this stereotype wrong in every particular. Thomas has long been a favorite of conservatives, but they admire the Justice for how he gives voice to their cause, not just because he votes their way. “Of the nine Justices presently on the Court, he is the one whose opinions I enjoy reading the most,” Steve Calabresi, a professor at the Northwestern University School of Law and a co-founder of the Federalist Society, said. “They are very scholarly, with lots of historical sources, and his views are the most principled, even among the conservatives. He has staked out some bold positions, and then the Court has set out and moved in his direction.”

Thomas’s intellect and his influence have also been recognized by those who generally disagree with his views. According to Akhil Reed Amar, a professor at Yale Law School, Thomas’s career resembles that of Hugo Black, the former Alabama senator who served from 1937 to 1971 and is today universally regarded as a major figure in the Court’s history. “Both were Southerners who came to the Court young and with very little judicial experience,” Amar said. (Thomas is from Georgia.) “Early in their careers, they were often in dissent, sometimes by themselves, but they were content to go their own way. But once Earl Warren became Chief Justice the Court started to come to Black. It’s the same with Thomas and the Roberts Court. Thomas’s views are now being followed by a majority of the Court in case after case.”


The implications of Thomas’s leadership for the Court, and for the country, are profound. Thomas is probably the most conservative Justice to serve on the Court since the nineteen-thirties. More than virtually any of his colleagues, he has a fully wrought judicial philosophy that, if realized, would transform much of American government and society. Thomas’s views both reflect and inspire the Tea Party movement, which his wife has helped lead almost since its inception. The Tea Party is a diffuse operation, and it can be difficult to pin down its stand on any given issue. Still, the Tea Party is unusual among American political movements in its commitment to a specific view of the Constitution—one that accords, with great precision, with Thomas’s own approach. For decades, various branches of the conservative movement have called for a reduction in the size of the federal government, but for the Tea Party, and for Thomas, small government is a constitutional command.

In his jurisprudence, Thomas may be best known for his belief in a “color-blind Constitution”; that is, one that forbids any form of racial preference or affirmative action. But color blind, for Thomas, is not blind to race. Thomas finds a racial angle on a broad array of issues, including those which appear to be scarcely related to traditional civil rights, like campaign finance or gun control. In Thomas’s view, the Constitution imposes an ideal of racial self-sufficiency, an extreme version of the philosophy associated with Booker T. Washington, whose portrait hangs in his chambers. (This personal gallery also includes Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher.)

In recent weeks, two federal courts of appeals have reached opposing conclusions about the constitutionality of the 2010 health-care law; the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, upheld it, while the Eleventh Circuit, in Atlanta, struck down its requirement that all Americans buy health insurance. This conflict means that the Supreme Court will almost certainly agree to review the case this fall, with a decision expected by June of next year. It is likely to be the most important case for the Justices since Bush v. Gore, and it will certainly be the clearest test yet of Thomas’s ascendancy at the Court. Thomas’s entire career as a judge has been building toward the moment when he would be able to declare that law unconstitutional. It would be not only a victory for his approach to the Constitution but also, it seems, a defeat for the enemies who have pursued him for so long: liberals, law professors, journalists—the group that Thomas refers to collectively as “the élites.” Thomas’s triumph over the health-care law and its supporters is by no means assured, but it is now tantalizingly within reach.



Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...#ixzz1Wa6FGDb7
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:03 AM   #2
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I be doubting Thomas.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:33 AM   #3
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Thomas was an English Major—that's for losers according to Brock.
English majors can analyze well and write their analysis well.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Thomas was an English Major—that's for losers according to Brock.
English majors can analyze well and write their analysis well.
A little bitter?

We should hope English majors can analyze well and write well. Certainly, it's not always the result.

I couldn't say if Thomas is the most principled justice on the Court today or not. I do think judges should make oral arguments a valuable opportunity. Thomas, however, considers them pointless -- that the briefs answer all the questions and/or justices have made up their minds already.

Read Thomas' dissent in Virginia v. Black for a piece of legal analysis highly informed by cultural history. It is something to admire.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jenson71 View Post
A little bitter?
I chuckled writing that one—especially the first sentence.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:10 AM   #6
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Your attention is wildly mis-directed. No one gives a rat's ass about Thomas on this issue, because everyone and their dog knows how he is going to vote.

All eyes are on Kennedy for this one.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:11 AM   #7
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I posted this in another thread, but it belongs here:

My wife works in HR, and basically says that companies are scrambling right now to find the loopholes in ObamaCare. She says the first one that companies are eyeing is the one that says you don't have to provide healthcare for workers under 30 hours. She says that 20-25 hour work weeks are going to be a common thing in the near future. She sees a day where many people have two 20 hour jobs thanks to this mess.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsshrink View Post
One "excellent" read but very long. I only pasted the first segment here in this thread so just go to the link for the rest. For those who bought into the argument that Clarence Thomas just shadows Scalia and is no intellectual giant better think again.

Toobin of the New Yorker who is a big Progressive Lib writes an excellent piece about Thomas and his wife and how they are working against Obamacare and creating the "Constitutional Infrastructure Argument" ahead of time so as to defeat Obamacare by the time it hits the SC for a decision.

Toobin writes this piece IMO for 2 big reasons. 1)He is alerting his Marxist friends that Thomas is not F'ing around and is to be taken serious because he has been very successful in any legal argument against liberalism he pursues. 2) Which means now the "Alinskyizing of Clarence and his wife must begin with the intensity never seen before in hopes that the public will want Thomas to be recused, step down because of a conflict of interest.
I'll apologize in advance for my ignorance. I've seen you use the term "Alinskyize" several times on this forum, but I don't understand what you mean.

I've even Googled the term, and I assume that you're using it in reference to Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, but I don't get what you're saying.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:12 AM   #9
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I couldn't say if Thomas is the most principled justice on the Court today or not. I do think judges should make oral arguments a valuable opportunity. Thomas, however, considers them pointless -- that the briefs answer all the questions and/or justices have made up their minds already.
The oral arguments are pointless, except for entertainment value and to give them a chance to put their musings and back-and-forth argument on the record.

Nothing new is learned by the justices in oral argument. I wouldn't get rid of them though, because they ARE valuable for us in the public to get a sense of what the decision may be, but if a justice doesn't want to participate in the song and dance, that is fine by me.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
The oral arguments are pointless, except for entertainment value and to give them a chance to put their musings and back-and-forth argument on the record.

Nothing new is learned by the justices in oral argument. I wouldn't get rid of them though, because they ARE valuable for us in the public to get a sense of what the decision may be, but if a justice doesn't want to participate in the song and dance, that is fine by me.
Eight other justices think oral arguments are useful. Only Thomas will agree with you. I was able to talk to appellate judges in Iowa, and they all find oral arguments useful as well.

You use them to pick apart the briefs, develop hypotheticals focused on the future, and flesh out loose arguments contained in the brief. Or you can just sit back and be completely inattentive.

I'm not saying that oral arguments will change minds all the time, but focusing on the margins, it can sway certain leanings.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:28 AM   #11
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Eight other justices think oral arguments are useful. Only Thomas will agree with you. I was able to talk to appellate judges in Iowa, and they all find oral arguments useful as well.
I suspect that, aside from the argument itself being interesting and fun for them, those 8 justices are more interested in their place in history and their legacy, which requires vigorous thoughtful participation in oral arguments. They are only useful for the public, which is probably good enough to keep them. I would be annoyed if they were done away with, but the 60 minute oral argument is not going to sway a justice where hundreds of pages of briefs and that justice's dozens or hundreds of hours of attention on the issue failed to do so.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:37 AM   #12
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I have met Justice Thomas on several occassions having gone to the same private school as his son. I enjoyed getting to talk to him.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:14 AM   #13
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I hope Thomas is the pube in obamacare's Coke.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
I suspect that, aside from the argument itself being interesting and fun for them, those 8 justices are more interested in their place in history and their legacy, which requires vigorous thoughtful participation in oral arguments. They are only useful for the public, which is probably good enough to keep them. I would be annoyed if they were done away with, but the 60 minute oral argument is not going to sway a justice where hundreds of pages of briefs and that justice's dozens or hundreds of hours of attention on the issue failed to do so.

You're wrong at a fundamental level. Generally, oral argument is standard for all briefs on important matters in all federal and state courts, from trial court all the way through the appeals court.

Presumably judges across all levels are not just "interested in their place in history and their legacy." So we have 200+ years of experience in federal court and state courts, at all levels on the one side, and one rather odd duck who finds no use for them on the other.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:37 AM   #15
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The OP is pretty much comically wrong. Thomas hasn't moved the Court to the right -- Bush's appointments did. He has rarely influenced the other members of the Court to move off their usual positions, and he hasn't proven himself capable of much intellectual firepower in his written opinions.

He was poorly qualified (to say the least) when appointed, and mainly seemed to fit the bill as a young black conservative. He has now been on the bench for over 20 years. We know all we really need to know about him at this point, and it's hardly impressive.

Compare to Scalia, who is ideologically similar but of far greater intellectual heft.
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