Clarence Thomas wants only sterilized criticism.

February 4, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More

Clarence Thomas is upset that many people have leveled intense criticism at the U.S. Supreme Court in light of the Citizen’s United decision:

Questioning the Supreme Court and other government branches needs to stay within the range of fair criticism or “run the risk in our society of undermining institutions that we need to preserve our liberties,” Justice Clarence Thomas said Thursday.

Dear Justice Thomas:

If you don’t like the criticism, there are several things you can do about it. You can resign. Or you can quit supporting the conservative wing of the Court when it makes decisions that undermine the institutions that we need to preserve our liberties.

What did you possibly think would occur when you invited corporations to pour unlimited money into the elections of our politicians (as if it weren’t bad enough already). Consider, too that Citizen’s United will allow corporations to purchase state judges too (and consider this revealing look at the “judicial philosophy of John Roberts, with whom you’ve aligned yourself). Didn’t it occur to you that you could have invoked stare decisis, and at least not made the problem worse? And answer this: Why should people continue to have respect for the United States Supreme Court when it delivers repeated crippling blows to the ability of the People to run their own government?  Do you think that letting corporations buy politicians was the “original intent” of the Founders?  Can you think of any liberty that is more fundamental than the ability of the Citizens to elect representatives who will be honestly responsive to them, not corrupted by huge amounts of money?

But you really don’t want to hear any of this. You’d rather that people simple pretend that you are doing a great job now matter how badly you screw up.


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Category: Civil Rights, Court Decisions

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    Mr. Justice Thomas also believes Republicans aren't racist and that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act isn't needed and is unconstitutional!

  2. It's dicey invoking original intent in this instance, since going back over the entire history of the first forty years of the republic opens a can of worms. I think it is fair to say that one thing many—not all, but many—founding fathers found troubling was the idea of actual people running the government. That's why they accepted a limited democracy. That's why we have a republic. And when you look at the Supreme Court decisions involving proto-corporate entities from back then (I'm thinking mainly of Fletcher v Peck, 1810), this decision would seem very comfortable to many of those folks back then who clearly believed that only citizens who counted, who mattered, were those who had property, and the more substantial the property, the more important the citizen. This is certainly a troubling decision, but I don't really think we'll make points in this by pulling the Original Intent card, because my reading of the early republic suggests that this is consistent with their view, a view which held sway until after the Civil War and we began collectively arguing over what A Citizen really was and what it meant.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Mark: Good point about the fear of ordinary people assuming the reigns of power. That WAS the driving reason for the representative democracy that we now have.

    One the other hand, I would think that the Founding Fathers would be aghast if they could see that a large propertied class (i.e., the middle class) has been divested of input (the pre-selection before election day is where the damage is done) by an imaginary entity that can now be funded by citizens of other countries. If King George were still around, he could have kept back-door control of the colonies with some strategically-placed money funneled through corporate entities that swift-boated any candidate who pissed him off.

  4. Erich, I agree. I'm just saying that reliance on Original Intent here is a double-edged sword and we'd be better off simply declaring that this is one they got "less right" and move on from there.

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