26 June 2015

Clarence Thomas Is a Miserable Excuse for a Human Being

First, in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, he suggested that racist impact of government policy might be a good thing, because ……… the NBA:
In a less headline grabbing decision today, the Supreme Court ruled that those affected by discriminatory housing decisions can sue even if they can’t prove the discrimination was intentional.

Civil rights groups were handed an unexpected victory when in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court endorsed the consideration of disparate impact to establish racial discrimination in housing cases under the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

The otherwise pro-business Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion but one of the other noteworthy opinions came from conservative Justice Thomas’ dissent, in which he wrote, “the fact that a practice has a disparate impact is not conclusive evidence that a practice is discriminatory.”

A well enough point, but it was the example he used to illustrate this point that proved most curious.

“Over 70 percent of National Basketball Association (NBA) players have been black,” Thomas pointed out, arguing that “racial imbalances do not always disfavor minorities.”

“If, for instance, white basketball players cannot bring disparate-impact suits— then we as a Court have constructed a scheme that parcels out legal privileges to individuals on the basis of skin color,” he continued.

Thomas went on to cite examples of minorities who “have owned or directed more than half of whole industries in particular nations” including “Jews in Poland” and “the Chinese in Malaysia” to argue that not all disproportional representation is bad.

Bigotry is OK because of the percentage of blacks in the NBA? Or the because of the relative prosperity of the Chinese in Malaysia?*

And then, in his dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, the gay marriage case, he suggests that slavery did not cause any loss of dignity in its subjects:
Clarence Thomas slammed the majority that ruled in favor of marriage equality, saying the five U.S. Supreme Court justices had engaged in misguided efforts to advance dignity for same-sex couples.

Thomas – who wrote his own opinion, along with the court’s three other dissenters – argued that the Constitution contained no “dignity” clause.


“Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved,” Thomas said. “Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”
This is pure crap, and I say it as someone who is required to thank God on a yearly basis because of, "What he did for me when I went forth from Egypt," on Passover.

Not only is this a failure as a human being, it is a miserable failure as a legal dissent.

Yale Law School needs to apologize to the nation.

*Which was largely a result of the British Empire using ethnically divisive policies in order to maintain control.


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