Monday, October 1, 2007

Thomas Understands

This video on Clarence Thomas is a surprisingly evenhanded discussion with the always helps when people follow Abraham Lincoln's adage that it's always better to talk to people rather than about people. Perhaps Steve Kroft from CBS found this to be true. See the video here and here. The first video gives background to his life, and the second deals with the Anita Hill accusations and some of his thinking.

I've always greatly admired the Justice for his clear-headed opinions. Watch his reaction to the Senate panel -- "high-tech lynching." Later, notice how he has a clear understanding and concern for the effect on the country..."who won?"

His assertion that "It is always worth it to stand on principle...wrong is wrong, even if it's over a penny." This is one reason why I respect him so much. Read this dissenting opinion of the case that struck down the partial birth abortion ban and see what you think about his clear-headed, straightforward talk.

"The Constitution is what matters, not my personal opinions, whatever they may be..." See my opinion in a previous post:

Scott v. Harris

In a decision handed down on Monday, SCOTUS determined that it is constitutional for a policeman to run a fleeing motorist off the road. That man, who was fleeing at night when there was no innocent pedestrians around to be put at risk, is now a quadripelegic because he crashed his car after he was run off the road. Does that sound right to you?

You need to think about what is being is NOT it is "right" or "prudent" or "nice" or "politically correct" or anything other than "constitutional." This is where most people get caught up when talking about court opinions.

The constitutional issue was whether or not the officers violated the fleeing person's 4th amendment protection against unreasonable seizure, claiming that by running him off the road they were being "unreasonable." The high court decided that what the officers did was not unreasonable at all, therefore, he has no case.

Pretty clear cut when you limit yourself to the law and not engage in the emotions of the case.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read the (long) dissenting opinion, and I see what you mean. Good stuff! It's amazing how someone can be faced with such clear-headed thinking, and yet decide to strike down the partial birth abortion laws. I'd like to see how the other justices respond to Thomas, but sadly I think they don't even bother. They just tell their end of the picture. Even if they make a different decision from Thomas', I don't see how they can use the arguments they make when Thomas clearly points out there their rationale is not rational/reasonable. Do they still think that "partial birth abortion" is not a legitimate wording to use, even after reading Thomas, or has he been able to persuade them to some degree?

It's amazing how much a Supreme Court Justice has to read and remember - they do a lot of thinking and reading, I'm sure. His opinion was incredibly complex and thorough - quite a feat to put all that together and get it down on paper.