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The Judicial Activism of Clearance Thomas

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From flickr.com/photos/47422005@N04/5894062539/: Clarence Thomas - Caricature
Clarence Thomas - Caricature
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Although arguments in support and in opposition of marriage equality has concluded, the Supreme Court will not deliberate a decision of whether same-sex marriage will be recognized or not in all 50 states until the end of June. However, there is one judge that is certain to oppose same-sex marriage recognition: Chief Justice Clearance Thomas.

Though he is a silent man, the religious right need not worry about which direction the tide will turn for Clearance Thomas. Thomas lives and breathes conservatism and his voting decision proves this. One could never accuse him of coloring outside the philosophy of conservatism.

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby he voted in favor of Hobby Lobby religious rights against the religious freedoms of employees. Under President Bill Clinton he validated the implementation of Defense of Marriage Act and he voted to add Don't Ask, Don't Tell to the Constitution. And under the administration of Barack Obama, he also voted against repealing DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell from the Constitution. For Thomas, conservative positions shall always be protected constitutionally, whether to the peril of gay citizen's liberty or not.

As reported by David Alan Coia of Newsmax, Chief Scalia written dissent of DOMA which Thomas joined, stated, "Today's opinion aggrandizes the power of the court to pronounce the law," and "assertion of judicial supremacy over the people's representatives in Congress and the executive," is "jaw-dropping." In other words, the rights of the courts have eroded the power of the people's state rights, granting discrimination against a group of people they deem to be immoral.

Scalia and Thomas prefer the methodology of originalism and manifest that theory always, though his voting decisions prove otherwise. Most call this a contradiction but for Clearance Thomas there will be no shame protruding from his direction as he's certain to oppose same-sex marriage recognition in all 50 states, if it receives the majority vote of approval.

The same man that benefits from the majority decision in Loving vs. Virginia which banned state laws that prohibited interracial marriages will be the same man that will deny the freedom and equality to marry for millions, without a second thought. And mark my words; purity of Constitution will be the forefront of his opinion.

The Loving vs. Virginia decision will not persuade Clarence Thomas. Nor will President Abraham Lincoln, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." Nor will the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," be of concern.

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Liberals have often been accused of judicial activism from the right; therefore, it's been shocking during the Obama Administration to watch as Clearance Thomas and conservatives support and perform this same tactic themselves. Such as the political right activism against Roe vs. Wade on the state level. And now conservatives have brought religious theology to the courts (again) by opposing a federal law that will recognize same-sex marriages.

When concluding his opinion in appeal of the constitution, Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Mr. President, I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better more information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgement, and to pay respect to the judgement of others."[i]

Even though sixty percent of society supports marriage equality, most conservatives continue to be in opposition, despising government intervention over the rights of the religious community, with the exception of working to ban Sharia Law and same-sex marriage (that is). While continuing to believe federal law should not intervene with state law and citizen's right to religious freedom. Unless of course conservatives are in the minority, then of course, state and federal must intervene immediately.

The conservative right is always steadfast in opposing civil rights that benefit liberalism or social justice. Remember, it was the majority conservative decision that dismantled parts of The Civil Rights Act. With audacity they concluded the vote was necessary due to progress in society, a ceding of racism, though this ceding is invisible to many. To think Clearance Thomas would do different for the gay community disservices the reputation of truth, even if the decision is considered a discriminating one -- whether it be tax benefits and legal issues like the affairs of an estate that have been denied to same-sex couples for decades.

As society progresses on the issues, Thomas is likely to remain regressed.

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In the same letter Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error."[ii] In what will more than likely be Clearance Thomas dissent to same-sex marriage, sadly, Benjamin Franklin's voice will be buried. In all likelihood, Thomas will issue traditional marriage values and originalism of the constitution, opposing same-sex marriage for all 50 states, while benefiting from judicial activism and equality in his very own personal life.



[i] [ii] Rakove, J. N. (2006). Founding America: Documents from the Revolution of the Bill of Rights: Concluding Appeal for Unanimity, p. 392. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics.

 

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