On The Cain-Clarence Thomas Connection
October 31, 2011
Well, that didn't take long. Scrambling to deal with Politico's report on allegations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain by two of his employees at the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s, Cain's campaign has already played the Clarence Thomas card. A campaign spokesman today invoked the Anita Hill-Thomas conflagration of 1991: “Sadly, we’ve seen this movie played out before -- a prominent conservative targeted by liberals simply because they disagree with his politics,” said spokesman J.D.
September 14, 2011
For the past generation, if you wanted to understand the legal philosophy of the leading Republican presidential contenders, the best person to look to was Antonin Scalia. And, on the surface, that would appear to be true again this year. After all, the current Republican front-runner, Rick Perry, has plenty in common with Scalia—namely, a professed aversion to judges who legislate from the bench or broadly interpret the Constitution. But, once you read Perry’s manifesto, Fed Up!
“I’ve talked to my lawyers,” President Obama said in explaining his dismissal of the argument that Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment authorizes him to raise the debt ceiling if Congress fails to act. “They are not persuaded that that is a winning argument.” But who are President Obama’s cowering lawyers, and why would the former constitutional law professor defer to their overly cautious prediction that the Supreme Court would rule against Obama if asked to adjudicate a dispute between the president and Congress?
Disorder in the Court
June 23, 2011
In April 2000, a Vermont musician named Diana Levine went to the hospital with a migraine. There, a nurse incorrectly injected Phenergan, an anti-nausea drug, into her vein rather than her muscle. This led to gangrene and, eventually, the amputation of much of her right arm. Levine sued and won more than $6 million from a Vermont jury, which concluded that Wyeth, the drug company, had failed to warn her properly about the risks of the drug.
January 24, 2011
-- Car bombs, politics, and lies: Jason Zengerle charts the rise and fall of a once-promising politician. -- The Tea Party wants your hands off their Social Security. -- If Clarence Thomas can't understand a financial disclosure form, how's he supposed to interpret a constitution?
November 08, 2010
George F. Will is one of those conservatives who demands a high standard of proof when it comes to accusing white people of harboring racial prejudice against minorities: STEPHANOPOULOS: We -- we heard President Obama say he thinks that a lot of anti- government feeling, the idea that the government can't do anything right, is behind all this. What's your theory? WILL: The president's right about that. What we're hearing is the liberals' McCarthyism, which is, when in doubt, blame people for racism. Litigators have an old argument: When the law's on your side, argue the law.
Clarence Thomas And Alger Hiss
October 22, 2010
When Anita Hill came forward during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings to accuse him of sexual harrassment, it created a stark partisan divide. Democrats and liberals believed her, and held up her experience as a common example of women demeaned in the workplace and then smeared as liars if they dared report their experience. Republicans and conservatives furiously disagreed, seeing Hill's claim as a sexual witch-hunt and a plot by liberals who couldn't stand to let a black conservative ascend to such a high position. I remember very clearly having withheld judgment.
Chait Crony Defeated
June 08, 2010
This morning Dave Weigel reported on a Republican primary campaign in northern Virginia involving Matthew Berry, an openly gay former clerk for Clarence Thomas and FCC official under George W. Bush. It dawned on me that I knew Berry about thirty years ago when he was in my Sunday school class. I went to his house after Sunday school one day, and it was immediately clear that, despite being the two nerdiest kids in the class, we had little in common. I remember he absolutely insisted that we immediately go to work on an extra-credit homework task I had no intention of doing then or ever.
A Defense Of Right-Wing Sluttiness
June 03, 2010
Dana Goldstein makes a surprisingly compelling case for Nikki Haley, the far-right South Carolina governor candidate currently alleged to have had extramarital affairs with two men: I’m rooting for Haley because after watching so many men in politics fool around and still manage to hold on to their jobs—Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, Clarence Thomas, John Ensign, Eric Massa, Antonio Villaraigosa, and Gavin Newsom, among many others—I hope we have reached the point when a woman, too, can screw up her personal life and still be evaluated on the public stage primarily for her professional achieveme
May 03, 2010
Miguel Estrada seemed to be a shoo-in for the federal bench. Nominated by George W. Bush to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2001 when he was just 39, Estrada was born in Honduras. He arrived in the United States as a teenager speaking little English and went on to graduate from Harvard Law School and clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He then worked at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, arguably the most prestigious law firm in the nation, and, later, as an Assistant U.S.