Justice Clarence Thomas, whose activism -- along with his wife's -- has bolstered conservative causes, is poised to be a central figure as the Supreme Court reconsiders rolling back more landmark rulings

Neil Roberts, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto, The Conversation on

Published in Political News

Of particular concern to the Jan. 6 committee is testimony from Thomas on her email correspondence with John Eastman, her husband’s former law clerk, who is considered to be the legal architect of Trump’s last-ditch bid to subvert the 2020 election.

In my view, Clarence and Ginni Thomas’ intertwined lives highlight a distressing underside to their personal union: the blurring of their professional and personal lives, which has had the appearance of fracturing the independence of the executive and judicial branches of government.

In this light, Thomas’ sole dissent in the case involving Trump’s turning over documents to the Jan. 6 committee is all the more alarming.

Clarence Thomas has cultivated a distinct judicial philosophy and vision of the world – and a view of his place in it.

From what can be gleaned from his own writings and speeches, his vision has been derived from Black nationalism, capitalism, conservatism, originalism and his own interpretations of the law.

Since Thomas’ confirmation, his ideas and rulings have attracted many critics.


But his interpetations of the law are now at the center of the high court’s jurisprudence.

In his concurring opinion of the court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Thomas argued that the court should reconsider reversing other related landmark rulings, including access to contraception in Griswold v. Connecticut, LGBTQ+ sexual behavior and sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas and same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

In short, Thomas’ sentiments reveal a broader ultraconservative agenda to roll back the social and political gains that marginalized communities have won since the 1960s.

The rulings in those cases, Thomas wrote, relied on the due process clause of the 14th Amendment and “were demonstrably erroneous decisions.”


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