Skip to comments.New Blue Nightmare: Clarence Thomas and the Amendment of Doom
Posted on 08/29/2011 1:56:16 PM PDT by Da Bilge Troll
Lord of the Rings aficionados know that the evil lord Sauron paid little attention to the danger posed by two hobbits slowly struggling across the mountains and deserts of Mordor until he suddenly realized that the ring on which all his power depended was about to be hurled into the pits of Mount Doom. All at once the enemy plan became clear; what looked like stupidity was revealed as genius, and Sauron understood everything just when it was too late to act.
Jeffrey Toobins gripping, must-read profile of Clarence and Virginia Thomas in the New Yorker gives readers new insight into what Sauron must have felt: Toobin argues that the only Black man in public life that liberals could safely mock and despise may be on the point of bringing the Blue Empire down.
In fact, Toobin suggests, Clarence Thomas may be the Frodo Baggins of the right; his lonely and obscure struggle has led him to the point from which he may be able to overthrow the entire edifice of the modern progressive state.
In several of the most important areas of constitutional law, Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court. Since the arrival of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in 2005, and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., in 2006, the Court has moved to the right when it comes to the free-speech rights of corporations, the rights of gun owners, and, potentially, the powers of the federal government; in each of these areas, the majority has followed where Thomas has been leading for a decade or more. Rarely has a Supreme Court Justice enjoyed such broad or significant vindication.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.the-american-interest.com ...
But an excellent point. Clarence Thomas (a fellow Husker fan!) is not a small obscure being. He is one of the most powerful men in the world.
Is he Gandolf?
Thomas will outlive Zer0’s influence.
...the authority to enact laws necessary and proper for the regulation of interstate commerce is not limited to laws governing intrastate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce. Where necessary to make a regulation of interstate commerce effective, Congress may regulate even those intrastate activities that do not themselves substantially affect interstate commerce.
J. Scalia, concurring in Raich
Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything, and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
J.Thomas, dissenting in Raich
Never seemed that the “ring of power” was all that powerful...the ring turned the wearer invisible. Big deal. Was there more to it?
(One of the few books of this genre that I couldn’t take reading ... got all my info from the movies)
Read for later. Thanks.
After reading his autobiography, my respect for him has only grown. I’m proud to be his son’s friend.
MUST READ. An absolutely vital article.
The Wheel of Time series by the late Robert Jordan was better, anyhow, IMO.
All in all, the Lord of the Rings trilogy provides an interesting take on the lust for, and corrupting influence of, great power, with emphasis on its application in socialism. The chapter called "The Scouring of the Shire" provides a rather eerie and prescient picture of British society. This was left out of the final movie, of course.
It gave power, and corrupted one based on his (or her, in the case of Galadriel) native power. That is why the wise, such as Gandalf or Elrond, feared to hold the
Ring, even for safekeeping.
(OK, I’m a Tolkien geek)
Hell, Zerø will outlive Zerø’s influence.
Thomas is correct, of course. I don’t understand Scalia on this...his argument is exactly the ste one the statits have used for decades to give nearly complete power to the federal government. Any idea that is distinty NOT in line with the Federalist intentions of our Founders.
Thomas is correct, and true to the original intent of the Founders.
I have always admired and respected Scalia. He has an incredibly brilliant mind, but somewhere along the road he lost his way and ended up in a statist mindset. He’s no friend of the Second Amendment either. Tragic.
The fact that Thomas remains silent during oral arguments reminds me of the story of another Thomas, a very tall heavyset youth who seldom spoke in school, so that all the other students called him the “Dumb Ox.” We know him as St. Thomas Aquinas.
whatddda bout Zorr0?
“If we wish to be true to a Constitution that does not cede a police power to the Federal Government, our Commerce Clause’s boundaries simply cannot be “defined” as being “ `commensurate with the national needs’ “ or self consciously intended to let the Federal Government “ defend itself against economic forces that Congress decrees inimical or destructive of the national economy.”
- Clarence Thomas UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. ALFONSO LOPEZ, Jr. 1995
There was a lot more to it...if you knew how to use it. Gandalf, Sauron and the leaders of the High Elves could have used it. Frodo and Bilbo didn’t have the knowledge. In hands of an ordinary man or Hobbit, it was essentially equivalent to having weapons-grade plutonium, but no idea how to turn that into a bomb or nuclear reactor.
Very interesting! In The New Yorker yet.
I heard him speak once and he is very brilliant. He’s a very measured speaker so you’re not waiting for any flash and dazzle rhetoric, but he comes out with careful and precise point after point, all right on target.
You haven’t read the book, have you? The failure of Sauron to prepare for the hobbits (compare to Star Wars’ evil empire’s failure to defend against a lone X-wing fighter) was something deeply woven into the story. He was looking for the ring but expected that the bearer would inevitably be captured by him, because he expected the bearer to be a human. He hadn’t counted on hobbits, which were so unambitious and incurious as to be largely immune to the ring’s power, and he hadn’t counted on Smeagal, the perverted hobbit, and his banal level of evil.
Just another Georgia fella getting it right!
You rock Clarence.
Gosh, does that make me a racist?
I agree with Justice Thomas here!
Immortality. Elves were not truly immortal, only ageless. The ring made one impervious, not merely ageless, and therefore capable of anything in battle.
I believe that Sauron was intently looking for the ring throughout. And, that included hobbits. The riders were looking for hobbits at the Prancing Pony in Bree.
The reason he did not see it was the hobbits rarely used it due to their nature. Putting the ring on gave Sauron a connection to its location. Every time someone did that, Sauron zoomed in. The ring kept tempting Frodo, but the hobbits' nature gave him the ability to resist (with a little help from Samwise on occasion). And wasn't Smeagal one of the "river folk", considered a different, though similar, race than the hobbits?
OK, geek critical mass has been achieved. No matter which of us is right, we both need to get a life.
They differ because Thomas understands the underlying philosophy of Natural Law Theory and inalienable rights which come from God and is consistent in his thinking which is VERY logical....since logic originated in the laws of nature.
Scalia has “reasoned” that abortion rights can be “voted” on by states. THAT would be Constitutional????? Never, not with the understanding of inalienable rights—made so clear in our constitution and by Natural Law Theory....which says that inalienable rights can NEVER be given away or taken away. NEVER.
This fundamental meaning of our Constitution is destroying the very Rule of Law and creating man made-up laws not based on God’s law and the laws of nature....so we get all bizarre sort of “reasoning” like two men can “marry”. Such idiocy (and unconstitutional) is the thinking of Scalia at times.
Natural Rights of human beings can never be voted away like in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Gulags. Our laws believe in a Supreme Law—Objective Truth. To deny God, is to deny that we have Natural Rights.
Right Reason according to Nature (God’s Law) is the basis of all Just Law in the US—or should be....we have seen very irrational things (Marxism) codified into laws here though.
Supra Positive Law==which exists in the US can declare these “null and void” and should if we were operating under the Constitution of the US instead of the USSR which established a separation of God and State.
"...Taken seriously today, that approach to the Constitution would change the way Washington does business. Radically. The list of enumerated powers is short and does not include, for example, health care, education, agricultural subsidies, assistance to the hungry or old age pensions. Most of the New Deal and Great Society (with the interesting exception of civil rights laws which enforce the Civil War era amendments) would be struck down. Whole cabinet departments would close..."
Hence no need for back room deals, negotiations with liars, libtards and losers...If it is not in there, you CAN NOT DO IT! If it is in there YOU CAN NOT TOUCH IT! In fact your favorite DC Rinos would not even have to grow a spine!! hahahah!!
Great article and artillery for the coming fight in 2012...
I'm thinking that Toobin, a liberal, used that forum to alert the lefty world that their standard 20-year old Clarence Thomas meme needs to change. The Left is particularly fond of the existing Thomas theme--that he's a dumb, shiftless sex maniac/-because it allows them to be as racist as they want to be without any repercussions.
To use another Tolkien analogy, Toobin is trying to light the beacons.
Clearly, Thomas is the originalist.
Bless him for being the conservative jurist that he is, but Scalia's argument smacks of expediency.
Wickard v Filburn.
The Huffington Post reported on August 16, 2008, following the Saddleback interview with then-presidential-candidate Obama, the following:
"I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas," said the presumptive Democratic nominee. "I don't think that he...' the crowd interrupted with applause. 'I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretations of a lot of the constitution.'"
Three years later, and we now have Toobin, certainly not a conservative legal thinker, saying:
"In several of the most important areas of constitutional law, Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court. Since the arrival of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in 2005, and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., in 2006, the Court has moved to the right when it comes to the free-speech rights of corporations, the rights of gun owners, and, potentially, the powers of the federal government; in each of these areas, the majority has followed where Thomas has been leading for a decade or more. Rarely has a Supreme Court Justice enjoyed such broad or significant vindication."
Generally, most might agree that Justice Thomas views the Constitution in a manner which would be somewhat consistent with the following declaration by Thomas Jefferson, America's third President:
"On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." - -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823
Inasmuch as Justice Thomas over a lifetime, most likely, has immersed himself in study of the writings and speeches of America's Founders, the great fountains of wisdom from which (and from whom) they drew their ideas about liberty, the human tendency to abuse delegated power, and the history of civilization's struggle against tyranny, one understands better his tendency to listen more than to speak, as well as his emergence as an "intellectual leader" on the Court.
As for the value one places on Presidential opinions about "interpretations" of the Constitution, or their personal evaluations of "legal thinkers," then one might need to examine the depth of study of that President and how he/she views the role, reach, and scope of government structured by the Founders' written Constitution for a free society.
One early President, James Madison, who came to be known as the "father" of the Constitution because of his role in the Convention, believed government's beneficial function to be "benign." He said:
"The enviable condition of the people of the United States is often too much ascribed to the physical advantages of their soil & climate .... But a just estimate of the happiness of our country will never overlook what belongs to the fertile activity of a free people and the benign influence of a responsible government." - James Madison
In the Year 2011, with our understanding of the stark and sometimes deadly differences between the quality of being "benign" and of being "malignant" as it pertains to our bodies, we are presented with an almost graphic difference between Madison's understanding of a constitutionally-limited government whose "influence" is "benign," and an understanding which favors enormous and invasive government power.
A logical conclusion to such reasoning might be that President Madison's opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas as "legal thinker" and "jurist" might be vastly different than President Obama's.
About Clarence Thomas, The Honorable Justice of the United States of America
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was raised as a Gullah speaker in coastal Georgia. When asked why he has little to say during hearings of the court, he told a high school student that the ridicule he received for his Gullah speech as a young man caused him to develop the habit of listening rather than speaking in public. Thomas’s English-speaking grandfather raised him after the age of six in Savannah.[
If Scalia is no friend of the Second Amendment, then neither is Thomas, since Thomas did not dissent from Scalia’s opinion in, or even write a separate concurring opinion for, District of Columbia v. Heller.
I think that they’re both pretty solid on the Second Amendment.
So deciding not to do something is participating in it?
Insane. I guess I robbed the bank, supported the RATS, and built that new barn all because I decided against it.
Wickard v. Filburn was rejected in 1787.
If I found this from the Constitutional Convention, the Harvard lawyer wizards of Scotus in the FDR era knew it as well.
Would that the author be right that Justice Thomas’ efforts will reverse the federal power grab via the commerce clause. If the next election installs a decent conservative to replace what we now have, perhaps the nation will be steered toward the Founding Fathers’ original vision.
You could call Sméagol a hobbit. You could also call him a sort of cousin of the Shire (and Bree) hobbits.
The ancestral hobbits developed into three races, the Fallohides, Harfoots, and Stoors, who lived in the upper Anduin valley (a good ways north of Lothlórien). In the mid-Third Age, most hobbits migrated west into Eriador, eventually settling in Bree and later the Shire as well. By the late Third Age, when LotR takes place, the three races were pretty well intermingled in Eriador.
From the Encyclopedia of Arda, "Gollum's identification as a Stoor is based on Gandalf's words in The Lord of the Rings I 2 The Shadow of the Past, 'I guess they were of hobbit-kind, akin to the fathers of the fathers of the Stoors'. Gollum's people split from the other Stoors in the fifteenth century of the Third Age, when troubled times in Eriador led them to migrate back eastwards across the Misty Mountains, and settle on the banks of the Gladden River."
We're going to have to do something different than what we've been doing before that's going to happen. GWB claimed to want Supreme Court justices that subscribed to an "original intent" interpretation of the Constitution during his campaign. The he sent his Justice Department before the court to argue to uphold Wickard v Filburn in the Raisch case.
Stare decisis? I don't see any reason to feel any more bound by it than they did.
Suppose a state legalizes pot, which I believe is likely to happen in this decade. Do you send in the feds to close it down, or do you let the state decide?
Too bad not even one of them will face up to the fact that the child in the womb is a person, and therefore should be protected by the explicit, imperative requirements of our Constitution.
In a perfect world, yes, it would be a State issue. We don’t live in a perfect world, no such world exists in reality. It’s become intensely complex, and turned inside out. Reality bites.
If pot truly is a medicine, it should be a controlled substance, approved by the FDA, manufactured under controlled circumstances and under license, prescribed by a doctor, and dispensed through a pharmacy. I could tell you that it is a psychoactive drug, a dissassociative hallucinogen. But you probably know that. I could tell you that it has been peer pushed onto our children, told that it’s not harmful and, yes, it does lead to worse drugs and drug use. But you might dispute that. There’s a lot I could say in defense of my position, but I won’t. I’ll just finish by saying...
I believe evil is real, it exists. Evil uses anything to propagate itself, and drugs are just one of the many ways it does that. Millions have lost their lives to it, many by murder, and millions more lives have been wasted and ruined because of it. Evil transcends oceans and borders and it respects no class or position or child.
Drugs are evil.