Ed Driscoll

Doubting Thomas No More

Rosslyn Smith of the American Thinker on the left’s recent reappraisal of Justice Clarence Thomas:

The conventional wisdom on Justice Clarence Thomas is that he is an unimaginative intellectual featherweight and a clown.  The way in which his reputation was traduced in his confirmation hearings and his notorious lack of interest in participating in oral arguments are cited as evidence.  A new look at Justice Thomas’s influence of the Court by Jeffrey Toobin  in the New Yorker sets this condescending notion on its head.

From Walter Russell Mead’s  New Blue Nightmare: Clarence Thomas and the Amendment of Doom

If Toobin’s revisionist take is correct, (and I defer to his knowledge of the direction of modern constitutional thought) it means that liberal America has spent a generation mocking a Black man as an ignorant fool, even as constitutional scholars stand in growing amazement at the intellectual audacity, philosophical coherence and historical reflection embedded in his judicial work.

I recommend both Mead and the much longer Toobin article Partners: Will Clarence and Virginia Thomas succeed in killing Obama’s health-care plan?     Don’t let the New Yorker headline and a few snarky paragraphs deter you.  Toobin’s article analyzes how Thomas’s manner of approaching constitutional issues is changing the law and earning him more than just respect from legal thinkers across the political spectrum.


Harry Reid could not be reached for comment.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member