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Method to Thomas Madness on Obama Birth Certificate

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The harebrained lawsuit demanding disclosure whether President elect Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen or not was laughed out of New Jersey courts in October. A few weeks later Supreme Court Justice David Souter gave it just as short shrift. He denied a stay to get Obama removed from the ballot in that state. But that didn't end the matter. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas saw to that.

He took the almost never heard of step of reopening the issue by agreeing to put the matter to a conference vote. Thomas's ridiculous lone wolf effort to arm twist the justices to examine the birth certificate issue made no sense to most legal experts. Obama was born in Hawaii. And he has produced more than enough evidence to back that up.

But Thomas's legal meddle on the Obama birth certificate non-issue fits perfectly in with his jaundiced interpretation of law and its practice and his private vow to get revenge on his liberal tormentors. Obama is the latest would be victim. He almost certainly stirred Thomas's personal ire back in August. Obama was asked at a joint church gathering with Republican rival John McCain at the mega Saddleback church in Lake Forest, California which justice he wouldn't have nominated to the Supreme Court. He didn't hesitate. He named Thomas. And he told why.

"I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time, for that elevation, setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretations of a lot of the constitution."

Even if Obama hadn't zinged Thomas publicly he still would have been in his sights. He is the polar opposite of Thomas. He's a moderate Democrat, a former civil rights attorney, and community organizer. He backs expanded government, affirmative action, abortion rights, a severely restricted use of the death penalty, and to the absolute horror of Thomas and hard line conservatives, he backs a broader interpretation of legal precepts. Obama almost certainly would have joined the swollen chorus of civil rights and civil liberties groups that pounded Thomas during his High Court confirmation fight in 1991 for his anti-affirmative action, anti-abortion, and anti-prisoner rights views. The Senate confirmed him by the narrowest vote of any high court judge in recent confirmation history. The rebuke stung deeply, and Thomas didn't forget or forgive.

In an American Enterprise Institute lecture in 2001, he wrapped himself in the martyr's garment and said that he expected to be treated badly for challenging liberal opinion.When asked how long he'd stay on the court, he reportedly said that he'd stay there for the next 43 years of his life. He was 43 at the time. In a more revealing aside, he supposedly quipped to friends that it would take him that long to get even. Whether that was hyperbole or an apocryphal tale, it hasn't taken him 43 years to wreak his revenge.He has been a one man wrecking crew to expunge race from law and public policy decisions.

But this is not simply one man's personal bitterness over his alleged mistreatment by liberals and civil rights leaders. Nor is it a case of Thomas digging his heels in to push his retrograde view on legal matters. He wants more judges to think and act like him on the bench. Obama has made it clear not only that he would not appoint another Thomas to the High Court but that the type of judges he'd appoint will be the diametric opposite of him. There's a good chance that he will have that chance, maybe two possibly three chances.

The court's liberals, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, John Paul Stevens, and Stephen Breyer, and the moderate to conservative Anthony Kennedy are in their seventies. Obama will likely pick likeminded judicially philosophical judges to replace one or more of them. This will decisively thwart Thomas and the conservative's on the court's counter revolution. A McCain win would have insured that there would be even more justices who would likely see eye to eye with Thomas on abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, prisoner rights, and Bush's war on terrorism orders.

That didn't happen. But federal appeals courts in future years will still deal with the sensitive issues of abortion rights, minimum mandatory sentencing, DNA testing in capital cases, the search and seizure laws, and racial profiling. Those cases will ultimately wind there way up to the Supreme Court. The High Court's rulings and dissents in these cases can permanently reshape America's legal landscape, for good or bad.Thomas' votes on these cases are predictable.

Obama's White house win insures that there won't be other justices whose votes are just as predictable and in agreement with his. Thomas butt in, in the Obama birth certificate non-issue is simply a thumb nose at Obama. There is method to madness.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His forthcoming book is How Obama Won (Middle Passage Press, January 2009)

 

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 

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for being so pathetic...   okay. I was g... by Rob Kall on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 4:20:14 AM
Clarence Thomas, and  all the judges who are ... by adavisw on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 7:54:21 PM
Could Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas be rem... by E. Nelson on Monday, Dec 8, 2008 at 12:03:56 AM
You know, I've always thought it was ridiculou... by Ginger Hastings Chapman on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 6:31:36 AM
we are stuck with Thomas for a long time. That'... by John R Moffett on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 7:09:37 AM
OK Thomas is dumb and biased and doesn't belon... by Nick van Nes on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 7:39:37 AM
the most recent puppet ... if it weren't him, ... by richard on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 12:07:12 PM
The hospital Barack was born within has the origin... by Guitar Chris on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 2:09:48 PM
Can you name that hospital pal?Go ahead, I want to... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 9:47:53 AM
Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Chil... by E. Nelson on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 10:06:15 AM
Kapi'olani Medical Center has been an affiliat... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 11:41:22 AM
I don't know what your point is with this? The... by E. Nelson on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 2:29:24 PM
You have your reasoning backwards....if the hospit... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 4:02:31 PM
"Also care to explain why there was a announc... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 11:48:15 AM
The question keeps coming up because neo-cons won&... by Guitar Chris on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 2:07:33 PM
"Obama was born in Hawaii. And he has produce... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 9:41:26 AM
It is easy to find out, and if you just watched th... by John R Moffett on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 3:27:57 PM
the truth is the truth. However when you take a ha... by Michael Shaw on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 11:45:06 AM
What's the big deal?   Just show us ... by Mad Jayhawk on Tuesday, Dec 9, 2008 at 12:17:15 PM
A much brighter mind than I (unfortunately, I don&... by Charlie L on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 12:46:03 PM
I think you nailed it. The SC is staking out terri... by John R Moffett on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 3:30:56 PM
The case in which the Supreme Court presumed its p... by WML on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 11:48:36 PM
I think that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, but ... by Blaine Kinsey on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 3:35:57 PM
My children are dual citizens as well. Their fathe... by camanokat on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 6:58:55 PM
Got a legal problem?  Forget about the courts... by Mad Jayhawk on Sunday, Dec 7, 2008 at 5:14:16 PM
But in a way hasn't the door to that notion al... by Michael Shaw on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 11:54:48 AM
Where is the proof that Hussein Obama is eligible?... by No Bama on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 1:47:51 PM
One thing that comes to my mind is that usually wh... by KyotoProto on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 2:10:46 PM
All these communists in this country is very sad.&... by No Bama on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 3:10:44 PM
I guess in your world warrantless wiretaps, an ill... by E. Nelson on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 8:21:55 PM
No Bama's comments regurgitate 60-year cliches... by Michael Arvey on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 4:43:46 PM
Republicans know nothing but force and fraud. ... by John Hanks on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 8:07:12 PM
I would have assumed there would be some news rele... by E. Nelson on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 8:26:28 PM
Good article in a Chicago paper. Sounds like nothi... by E. Nelson on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 8:34:58 PM
Hey Earl, Try eating a few prunes. The constitu... by Keith Howe on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 9:51:47 PM
the state of hawaii keeps the orignals, so they ha... by kenshin on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 10:10:13 PM
A letter by an official means nothing. The only pr... by Mystic Wizard on Friday, Dec 5, 2008 at 11:23:46 PM
Now, stay focused.  A public document cannot ... by WML on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 9:27:11 AM
 This was just posted on another article... by Mystic Wizard on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 4:39:11 PM
Birth certificate = sore loser.We're Celebrati... by Perry Logan on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 5:09:26 AM
So now what?... by Mystic Wizard on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 5:33:26 AM
Again, you don't know what the frick you are t... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 10:00:19 AM
Obama produced the ORIGINAL to TWO witnesses. The ... by shirley reese on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 10:59:42 AM
"What about the FACT that Bush wasn't &qu... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 12:09:38 PM
You wing-nuts need to get your facts straight. The... by E. Nelson on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 2:38:07 PM
First off pal...refering to any who are on the oth... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 6, 2008 at 4:22:19 PM
William, give it up.  These folks do not unde... by Mad Jayhawk on Sunday, Dec 7, 2008 at 5:09:50 PM
I have always believed that Natural Born is you we... by peni basse on Sunday, Dec 7, 2008 at 9:01:06 PM
Leo Donofrio's case has nothing to do with the... by peni basse on Sunday, Dec 7, 2008 at 9:09:54 PM
I forget which Englishman it was who said: &q... by frank69 on Sunday, Dec 7, 2008 at 10:38:37 PM