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janbb's avatar

Do you think Justice Thomas is suddenly becoming so active to distract from the chatter that his wife is an insurrectionist?

Asked by janbb (60655points) 1 month ago

In the last few months as Ginnie Thomas’s actions in promoting the Big Lie have become known, several people have called for the resignation of Clarence Thomas. Or at least that he should recuse himself from pertinent cases. I wonder is his high visibility of late, after having been a fairly sleepy Conservative previously, is to boost his reputation.

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13 Answers

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Call_Me_Jay's avatar

A huge number of people have been emboldened by Trump to let their freak flags fly. He got away with being outwardly repulsive and flaunting his disdain for decency, honor, duty, and respect without negative consequences. They are inspired.

Thomas may be riding that wave. Or, a simpler analysis: he finally has a court packed with enough fellow activists to dismantle the equal rights gains of recent decades, and impose their fringe religious values on all of us.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think so. It won’t deter or distract the legal experts investigating the insurrection.

We have a President who is a Democrat, I can’t imagine Thomas wants to risk impeachment right now, although he probably feels immune.

I think Thomas, like so many Republicans right now, feel untouchable, and let’s just add they feel God is on their side. Just like covid, many of these religious zealots are off their rockers.

JLeslie's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay I’m going to go ahead and say “jinx” since our answers are so similar when we were writing at the same time.

HP's avatar

I believe that Thomas previously had just enough sense to shield his views from public view. But these days with Nazis in the streets in broad daylight, and the Republican dessertion of the map of reason, there is little penalty to public display of ultraconservatism even when it crosses the border to insanity.

seawulf575's avatar

Nah. Thomas is a smart guy. He knows that those obsessed with Trump will do anything to bring more heat on him. That is why Ginni is being viewed in the first place. If he was being more active because he wanted to distract the focus from here, it would surely increase it. Those that are obsessed with Trump would use his increased activity as a key to pushing harder on Ginni, to punish her for daring to support Trump and to punish Thomas for daring to have conservative view points.

ragingloli's avatar

Maybe he is dying, and intends to lay waste to the country before he croaks.

Forever_Free's avatar

No. It is a byproduct of the Pandemic. He once went a decade without asking a question from the Supreme Court bench. He is now seemingly an active participant in every single argument. This is due to the way they had to adjust during remote sessions when not in one physical location.

Justice Thomas’s switch from silence to engagement is a byproduct of the pandemic, during which the court heard arguments by telephone. The justices now ask questions one at a time, in order of seniority. Justice Thomas, joined the court in 1991, goes second, right after Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Proof that subtle changes can make a significant change in how a person engages and is perceived.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I doubt it. A lot of his activist court decisions are long-standing ideas of his – a judicial philosophy that took decades to mature.

@Forever_Free is probably right about the timing and motivation. I don’t think Thomas is being assertive to cover up for his wife.

HP's avatar

I agree with @elbanditoroso that Thomas’s behavior is not about the contest between he and the wife over who’s more repulsive. @Forever Free has the strongest argument so far, and it’s a revelation.

jca2's avatar

I just googled his silence and he was silent for a whole decade, and then a year prior to 2021.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 Yeah – and now he’s come out guns blazing! I personally think it is something of a deflecting motive. Not that he doesn’t believe all the crap he’s spewing.

janbb's avatar

This from Heather Cox Richardson’s Letter from an American today:

“Indeed, scholar of authoritarianism Ruth Ben-Ghiat today noted that there is a relationship between the insurrection and the radical Supreme Court decisions coming out. Justice Clarence Thomas has been writing opinions and footnotes that are to the right even of the rest of the radical court, and today he suggested he would like the court to revisit the 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision that provides some protection to media outlets from being sued for defamation by requiring a plaintiff to prove the outlet acted with “actual malice.” Thomas wants to make it easier to sue media outlets because, he wrote, the “New York Times and its progeny have allowed media organizations and interest groups ‘to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity.’”

Ben-Ghiat tweeted that “[s]elf-protection (and protection for corrupt family members) is a huge driver of authoritarian behaviors. He feels threatened and will try and change the legal order to avoid scrutiny. Radicalized people no longer care about ‘how it looks’ to outsiders.”

In this particular case, Thomas’s beef is with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for calling out Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc., as a “hate group” because of its opposition to homosexuality and gay rights. The SPLC identifies as hate groups any groups that “have beliefs or practices that malign or attack an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” “SPLC’s ‘hate group’ designation lumped Coral Ridge’s Christian ministry with groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis,” Thomas complained, and that hurt their ability to raise money.”

I think he has gone off the deep end and that this is really scary stuff.

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