Clarence Thomas

Stare Decisis
September 19, 2005

Jeffrey Rosen expresses his support for the confirmation of John Roberts and suggests he will be willing to maintain federal power.

Light Footprint
July 07, 2003

In the months leading up to the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, it was hard not to feel a sense of dread. At other great moments of constitutional drama—the decision to reaffirm Roe in 1992 and to settle the presidential election of 2000—the justices had allowed an inflated sense of their own importance to distort their judgment and compromise their reasoning.

Correspondence - April 7, 2003
April 07, 2003

 UNDER THE INFLUENCE REGARDING CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER'S piece "Self Service." I would suggest two influences as the sources for the liberal unwillingness to use power for American self-interest (March 3).

On the Hill: Private Opinion
April 07, 2003

In recent weeks, a visibly angry Orrin Hatch has been appearing regularly on the Senate floor to vent about the Miguel Estrada nomination battle. More precisely, Hatch has been denouncing the filibuster mounted by Democrats to prevent a straight up-or-down vote on the Hispanic would-be judge, a vote that would surely place Estrada on the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bench Press
June 18, 2001

Now that they control the Senate, some Democrats want to treat George W. Bush's judicial nominees as badly as Republicans treated Bill Clinton's. Senate Republicans repeatedly distorted the records of Clinton's nominees to the federal appellate courts, painting judicial moderates as judicial activists and denying them hearings. While Ronald Reagan and Clinton appointed similar numbers of appellate judges, 87 percent of Reagan's nominees were confirmed, compared with only 61 percent of Clinton's.

Disgrace
December 24, 2000

ON MONDAY, WHEN the Supreme Court heard arguments in Bush v. Gore, there was a sense in the courtroom that far more than the election was at stake. I ran into two of the most astute and fair-minded writers about the Court, who have spent years defending the institution against cynics who insist the justices are motivated by partisanship rather than reason. Both were visibly shaken by the Court's emergency stay of the manual recount in Florida; they felt naïve and betrayed by what appeared to be a naked act of political will.

Still His Party
August 07, 2000

The quest to venerate Ronald Reagan began ignominiously. In the early '90s, conservatives set out to convey Reagan's greatness to future generations by constructing a gleaming new government building in downtown Washington, D.C. But plans for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center went comically wrong. Construction ran hundreds of millions of dollars and several years over budget, and, once completed in 1998, the building was so manifestly useless that federal agencies had to be coaxed to move into it.

Talk Is Cheap
February 14, 2000

Supporters and opponents of campaign finance reform agree on little except for this: the compromise that the Supreme Court imposed on the nation 24 years ago in Buckley v. Valeo has collapsed. In Buckley, the Court held that Congress could regulate political contributions--that is, the money people donate to candidates--but not political expenditures--that is, the money candidates spend on themselves. The theory was that giving money to a candidate is not really a form of expression, while spending money to win an election is.

Hyperactive
January 31, 2000

Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a constitutional challenge to the Violence Against Women Act. On the same day, the justices announced that Congress lacks the power to authorize individuals to sue states for violating the Age Discrimination Act. Both cases show that the five conservative justices have started down the road toward a full-scale confrontation with Congress that has no logical stopping point.

Passing the Buckley
October 27, 1997

Buckley v. Valeo, the Supreme Court’s attempt to reconcile campaign finance regulations with the First Amendment, was dubious from the day it was decided in 1976. With memories of Watergate still fresh, the Burger Court assumed that preventing corruption of individual candidates by wealthy donors was the central evil that Congress had a right to avoid. But in the 1990s, the parties, rather than the plutocrats, became the stock villains of the reform drama.

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