Archive for clarence thomas

Justice Alito said what again? "New, unwise turn" in law relies on "private professional associations"

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justice alito shakes head at SOTU smallerJustice Alito Shakes Head When Obama Criticizes Campaign Finance Decision

Wait, what? Isn't this the Supreme Court that has a corporation fetish? Isn't Justice Alito one of the conservative members who believes in privatization, corporate personhood, and equating money with free speech? As in Citizens United and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission?

Think Progress: And he’s a strong supporter of “forced arbitration,” a practice which allows employers to shunt discrimination lawsuits into a secretive and privatized arbitration system rather than allowing those cases to be heard by a real court.

Respriv.org: For Alito, and the rest of the Court’s right-wing majority, the severity of Bartlett’s injury proved inconsequential when measured against Big Pharma’s bottom line and their interest in selling generic drugs, which account for 75% of the prescription drugs sold in the U.S.

StopTheCap.com: Justice Samuel Alito was forced to recuse himself from nearly six dozen cases brought to the Supreme Court in the last 10 months because the Alito family owns stock in many of the corporations involved in litigation.

In light of the above examples, I found the following passages ironically amusing. Via the Los Angeles Times article, Supreme Court says IQ cannot determine mental fitness in capital cases:

In dissent, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. faulted the majority for a "new and unwise turn" in the law by relying on "private professional associations" to establish constitutional values.

In the past, he said, the court had looked to states and to public opinion to judge American values. "Now the court strikes down a state law based on the evolving standards of professional societies, most notably the American Psychiatric Assn.," he said. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

Whatsa matter, Judge A. and company, don't you love "private professional associations" as much as you used to? Should they feel jilted? Doesn't the NRA "unwisely" influence (read: pressure) the "constitutional values" of Congress members so heavily that they shun common sense gun laws that public opinion supports by a landslide? What do you have to say now?

crickets

Oh, but I kid Justice Alito.

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Top Republican: Go ahead Dems, change filibuster rules. Then GOP can appoint more Thomases and Scalias.

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filibuster gop filibastards

UPDATE via a Politico email alert:

Senate Republicans blocked the nomination of Nina Pillard to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, escalating the fight over President Barack Obama's judicial nominations. The Senate voted 56-41, falling shy of the 60 votes needed to advance the nomination.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is super ultra double dog daring Senate Democrats to go nuclear on filibuster rules by changing the number of votes needed for nominees from 60 to 51. He's puffing out what little there is of his chest and actually daring them to go there. That way, he snorts, more Justice Scalias and Thomases will get appointed by the GOP.

1. Ew.

2. STFU.

Via LiveWire:

"All I can say is this -- be careful what you wish for. So if the Democrats are bent on changing the rules, then I say go ahead," he said. "There are a lot more Scalias and [Clarence] Thomases that we'd love to put on the bench. The nominees we'd nominate and put on the bench with 51 votes would interpret the constitution as it was written."

Really, Chucky? So you would join the Dems and vote "aye"? After all, you clearly believe that such a move would benefit your side.

Meantime, Republicans have blocked and blocked and blocked again. At this point, more damage is being done by all the obstruction and lack of governance than would be done by adopting new rules to allow the norm: A chance for President Obama's nominees to actually get a-- What's it called again? Oh yeah-- vote.

Instead, the GOP is preventing courts from functioning as they should, which is bad for all of us, even Republicans.

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Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: "I think there are many who think of judges as politicians in robes."

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Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke at the Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on history, ethics and law. In that speech, she expressed her opposition to the election of judges, saying the following, per the Chicago Tribune:

“I think there are many who think of judges as politicians in robes. In many states, that’s what they are.”

No way! Whatever could have put that crazy idea into her head? Of course that wasn't what GW Bush had in mind at all, right, when he and the GOP packed the courts with conservative judges; yet Republicans now refuse to so much as consider President Obama's judicial nominees.

O'Connor prefers to think of judges as, you know, impartial and independent, fair and unbiased. How novel.

Instead, she said, people "seem to think judges should be a reflex of the popular will" and that judges "need to avoid sitting on cases if even a whiff of bias can be detected."

Are you listening, Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito?

More at the link.

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"I'm not into politics," said partisan Justice Thomas; black president would be "approved by elites, media."

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join court but i hate politics

When I saw this article at First Read, I had to make sure it wasn't a reprint of a piece from The Onion. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says he's "not into politics." Could've fooled me. He's married to Virginia, founder-of-a-tea-party group-turned-lobbyist who bragged about all the influence she had (who also left a rather strange voice mail for Anita Hill), and who lobbied against health care reform.

This is the same justice who Herman Cain said “is one of my models.”

So fine, Thomas-- who ruled in favor of Citizens United-- claims he isn't literally "into" politics, but he also isn't exactly unbiased, objective, or even-handed, let alone nonpartisan:

As Mark Karlin at BuzzFlash pointed out, "Thomas... didn’t even report large financial payments that benefited him and his wife, as he ruled on cases that involved the sources of the personal funds."

And of course, there was the Clarence Thomas gifting scandal:

There have been alarming reports of justices – most notably Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito – attending political events and using their position to fundraise for organizations.

You get the picture. Now here is what Clarence Thomas said during a forum at Duquesne University's law school in response to a moderator's question of whether he was surprised that there was a black president. Per First Read:

[H]e is not surprised there's a black president. But he knew that it would be one "approved by the elites, the media." "I guess I thought there would be black coaches, black heads of universities, maybe again, as I said, I'm naïve. But the thing I always knew it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites, the media, because anybody they didn't agree with they would take apart.... And that will happen with virtually-- you pick your person. Any black person, who says something that is not a prescribed things that they expect from a black person, it will be picked apart. You can pick anybody. Don't pick me. Pick anyone who has decided not to go along with it. There's a price to pay. So I always assumed it would be somebody the media had to agree with." [...]

Asked if he had any "common ground" with the left-of-center president, the conservative jurist, said, "You know that's hard to say. It's like, what common ground did I have with President Bush? 43? You know, I'm not into politics. I don't like politics. And I try not to-- I do my job. I have common ground with some of the appointees, say with Justice Ginsburg or with Justice Kagan, because we're doing the same thing, but as politics, I just don't do politics. I don't like politics."

Go that? He doesn't like politics.

To be crystal clear, he just doesn't do politics.

Did I mention he doesn't like politics?

He added:

"I just don't like politics... I mean, it is--, I'm just done. I don't like politics. I like history. I like things of substance. I don't understand politics. I don't understand scuba diving, you know? When I think of scuba diving, I think of drowning. So I'm not against it, it's just not-- I'm not going under water."

In case you missed it, he "hates politics." That might have gotten by you.

hate politics, hate people

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