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Jeffrey Toobin on Clarence Thomas in the New Yorker

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by YankeeFan, Aug 30, 2011.

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  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    An interesting take that goes against the common perception of him:

    Rush Limbaugh spent a good portion of his show discussing the column and this critique of it:


  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    oh, boy.

  3. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Interesting indeed. And I like Toobin. But I don't buy his analysis.

    Thomas is a simpleton. I mean that in the kindest sense. The law is simple to him. All cases are simple to him. His opinions all follow a simple conservative ideological line. His writing is clear because his ideology requires very little thought. Now, that said, many of his positions have indeed been "vindicated" with the additions of Alito and Roberts onto the court. That is a gift of presidential appointment and says nothing about Thomas intellect or persuasive ability.

    Roberts, on the other hand, is the real conservative intellectual powerhouse. He is a tremendous writer. Roberts agrees with Thomas ideologically but he writes so smoothly that he makes extreme positions seem moderate enough that a guy like Kennedy can go along; palatable to moderates in general; and teachable with a straight face by law profs who find it impossible to square many of Thomas' ranting dissents with any of our nation's jurisprudence. So basically, while Thomas has been way far out in right field for a long, long time, our republican presidents have been steering the court his way and Roberts has been able to cloak Thomas' extremist positions in a veil of allegedly distinguished cases (rather than say he's overruling them like Thomas would, which he is) that results in the same conservative outcome. Roberts is batting clean-up for Scalia, who twisted himself in knots for years trying to justify conservative outcomes with his theory of originalism, a theory that he would probably describe as "purist" that uses slight-of-hand writing.

    Thomas might be intelligent, and might have the capacity for reasoning, but he demonstrates very little of either trait on the Court.
  4. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    Thomas' literalism sees the law in black and white. He's more consistent than Scalia, but that's only because of the simplicity of his ideology.

    And I have to agree with PoO...the fact that some of Thomas' opinions have been vindicated has nothing to do with the intellectual force (really the lack thereof) of his arguments and everything to do with the makeup of the Court.
  5. CarltonBanks

    CarltonBanks New Member

    Right...Thomas is simple. A black man could NEVER be a complex thinker!
  6. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Active Member

    I don't know if Thomas is a genius or a dunce. But to credit the move to the right by the court to his intellectual prowess is simply nuts. The reason that the court is moving to the right is that the Republican party is becoming more conservative. Judges like O'Conner and Stevens would no longer be nominated by a Republican president. They would be too liberal.
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Even I could edit that last post.
  8. GoochMan

    GoochMan Active Member

    Carlton, that's not true at all.
    The guy in the White House is a perfect example of a complex thinker.

    (Sorry, man. That was a cock-high fastball on the outer half of the plate. I just HAD to take a big swing at that!)
  9. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Member

    Good take. Didn't quite buy that bit of Toobin's article. Sure, the rise of the conservative wing has led the court to endorse the outcome Thomas had advocated, but, as far as I can tell, they're not usually endorsing his reasoning.
  10. CarltonBanks

    CarltonBanks New Member

    I was wondering who would hit the ball first. And, yes, you have to be a complex thinker to commit so many crimes and get away with them :)
  11. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Does it discuss his sexual harassment of Anita Hill?
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I haven't read it yet, may not, but do they get to the bottom of who put the pubic hair on his Coke?
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