When Ruth Bader Ginsburg called Donald Trump a “faker,” it was the political commentary heard ‘round the world. Republicans harshly criticized the Notorious RBG for unwelcomely inserting herself into the political process. At the final presidential debate, Trump even patted himself on the back for having made RGB cower in apology (which wasn’t exactly accurate, but which played well with his supporters). And yet, when Clarence Thomas told an audience at the Heritage Foundation that the Merrick Garland situation is an example of how the GOP is destroying our government, Republicans are pretending not to have heard.
Okay, those weren’t exactly Justice Thomas’ words. But he did say that the Supreme Court confirmation process is an example of how the nation’s capital is “broken in some ways.” From where I sit, that was a gentle way for the justice to remind fellow conservatives that refusing to consider a Supreme Court nominee is an irresponsible and obnoxious dereliction of duty. In Thomas’s words, “we have decided that rather than confront disagreements, we’ll just simply annihilate the person who disagrees with me. I don’t think that’s going to work in a republic, in a civil society.”
WATCH BELOW via AP:
Justice Thomas subscribes to philosophies I find problematic, to say the least; but he is a functional part of the government I have always known. He is a committed statesman who clearly respects the institution of American government. And he’s far from stupid. Justice Thomas, like so many of us, sees the danger in the charge Ted Cruz is leading by suggesting an extended blockade of Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearings. “We have become very comfortable with not thinking things through,” Thomas continued.
When he discussed the Supreme Court in general, Justice Thomas said:
“I think it’s important to leave the institution standing. I don’t think that’s going to change in this city until we get back to the notion that we argue and debate things based on logic and facts and reason, as opposed to who yells the loudest.”
Whether the reference to “who yells the loudest” was a direct reference to Donald Trump, only Clarence Thomas knows; but lack of logic, facts, and reason are the principles uniting those who have pledged their unwavering support. GOP leaders should hear Justice’s Thomas’ comments for what they are: a sharp reprimand for their failure to deliver on their elected duties, and a warning that such failures could permanently damage SCOTUS itself.
I get that in this politically-charged environment, Republican Senators are under great pressure to thwart any effort that originates with Evil Team Liberal (unless, of course, 9/11 is attached to that effort). But when it comes to the confirmation process, they should listen to one of their own. I don’t want to speak for the Justice, but I’m pretty sure that’s why he kept saying, “we.”
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed here are just those of the author.
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[image via screengrabl
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.