But the Conquered, or their Children, have no Court, no Arbitrator on Earth to appeal to. Then they may appeal, as Jephtha did, to Heaven, and repeat their Appeal, till they have recovered the native Right of their Ancestors, which was to have such a Legislative over them, as the Majority should approve, and freely acquiesce in.
-John Locke

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Dishonest Treatment of Clarence Thomas, Pt2

Think Progress' Ian Millhiser seems to be making it his life's mission to unfairly disparage Justice Thomas and thereby undermine the credibility of the Supreme Court, as it waits for the inevitable arrival of the Obamacare issue on its doorstep.  Millhiser has a series of posts about Justice Thomas, and they all contain the same collection of distortions and innuendo.  Before I jump into his latest work, I have to address a phenomenon within Millhiser's posts that is telling.  He is passing him work off as journalism, but most of his links that would appear to be aimed at supporting his points are simply links to his related articles.  Referencing your own previous statements as evidence of their truth is beyond lazy, it's dishonest and suggests problems with the accuracy of the facts.  That is a common theme in Millhiser's work, as you will see.

Millhiser now contends that Thomas is in the bag for his friend Harlan Crow because Crow sat on the Board for CCI. Millhiser's sole evidence of this is a 2002 CCI tax return listing the Board members. there is no mention of whether Crow served on CCI's Board at any other time.  Also, this was an unpaid position, and there were numerous other members, including Democrat NY General Assemblymen.  Crow is alleged to have purchased Thomas' vote because he also once sat on the Board for AEI, whihc in 2001 bestowed a bust of Lincoln to Thomas (supposedly valued at $15,000).  Further, Crow is alleged to have supplied $500,000 to Thomas' wife so she could start a Tea Party group.  Millhiser cites 8 cases in which CCI filed an Amicus brief and claims that Thomas' vote in support of CCI's position in each of those cases is clear evidence that Thomas has been bought.

Sounds good...except when we look at those cases we see the following facts:

1) In City of Chicago v. Morales, Scalia wort a dissent, and Thomas wrote a dissent that Scalia and Rehnquist joined.  So, Thomas hadn't left the reservation...and this case pre-dates Thomas receiving the "gifts" that purportedly bought his vote.  FAIL.

2) In PA Board of Probation and Parole v. Scott, Thomas wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority.  Again, Thomas had the full agreement of the "conservative" wing of the Court.  Also, this case was a 1998 case.  FAIL.

3) In Dickerson v. US, Thomas joined a dissent. Again, not a "rogue" position, and this case also pre-dated the supposed gifts, as it was from 2000.  FAIL.

4) In US v. Knights - a 2001 case, Thomas had clearly been bought when he joined a UNANIMOUS decision.  Wow, really onto something here, Millhiser!  EPIC FAIL.

5)  In US Dept of HUD v. Rucker - a 2002 case, so we know Thomas was on the take, he again proved it by joining the UNANIMOUS DECISION.  EPIC FAIL.

6)  In CT Dept of Public Safety v. Doe - 2003 - Thomas was part an 8-Justice decision, with the 9th Justice writing a concurring opinion.  For all purposes, that's a UNANIMOUS DECISION.  EPIC FAIL.

7) In US v. American Library Assn - 2003 - Thomas was part of a plurality decision...but only three judges dissented.  So, we have 6 Justices agreeing on the outcome, but some for different reasons than others.  FAIL.

8) In Devenpeck v. Alford - 2004 - Thomas joined an 8-Justice UNANIMOUS DECISION. Rehnquist did not take part in this case.  EPIC FAIL.

Millhiser doesn't share the make-up of the decisions in these cases, instead choosing to mislead the reader by suggesting that Thomas' votes that happened to fall along the same position that CCI urged in a brief is evidence of the fix being in.  Half of these cases were unanimous decisions.  Many pre-dated the bust of Lincoln, and ALL of them predated the Tea Party by at least 5 years!  None of these cases show Thomas taking a position that is uncharacteristic  of his views of the Constitution, or have him departing from views held by other Justices - who have not been subject to similar smears.

Think Progress is walking a dangerous line.

No comments:

Post a Comment