Thomas's latest ridiculous dissenting vote, like his other just as ridiculous lone wolf votes on race based court cases, make absolutely no sense to most legal experts. But they're not about law. His decisions make sense because they have less to do with his warped interpretation of law and its practice than with his publicly expressed racial views, and his private vow to get revenge.
When asked some years ago how long he'd stay on the court, he reportedly said that he'd stay there for 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 is hyperbole or an apocryphal tale, it hasn't taken him 43 years to wreak his revenge.
The dissent in the Foster case is more than ample proof that Thomas has been a one man wrecking crew on race in 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 his digging in his heels to push his retrograde view on racial matters. He wants more judges to think and act like him on the bench. And all the better if those strict racial constructionist judges happen to be minorities.
In his 2007 autobiography, My Grandfather's Son, the bitter grudge that he holds against those who did so much to dump his confirmation were on naked and brutal display. He showed no sign of budging a step from the never-ending public and private war he's waged against civil rights leaders and liberal Democrats. He branded them the "liberal mob" and gripped that they had one goal, and only one goal, and that is to "keep the black man in his place." The black man of course is Thomas.
Thomas's mean-spirited and vindictive views and legal opinions on the death penalty, age and gender bias, first amendment, prisoner rights and affirmative action cases were well known by the time he hit the court in 1991. It could hardly be said even then that he latched on to judicial conservatism solely to curry favor with white conservatives to snatch a seat on the high court. He actually believes what he says and writes in his nutty on man dissents even when others ridicule him mercilessly and deservedly for them. And he could care less, it's just Thomas continuing his big payback. Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His latest book is How "President" Trump will Govern (Amazon Kindle) He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Saturdays 9:00 AM on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.