Clarence Thomas is having the “moment” of his career. After three decades on the court, he is in a position to pursue a conservative agenda like never before.
With Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the court, Thomas now has 4 votes to make some conservative decisions on abortion, gun rights and LGBT issues for the first time, according to political science professor Corey Robin. The only question is whether they can get Chief Justice John Roberts to join them in a 5-vote majority.
Progressives must be freaking out about this. It must be awful to be on the receiving end of “judicial activism” for a change. Elizabeth Wydra, president of the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center, said that Thomas’s rising influence “is terrifying to many progressives.” No kidding.
Even without other conservatives backing him, Thomas has “[dragged] the court in his direction” on issues like voting rights, campaign finance, and the Second Amendment, according to scholars. As his influence grows, he might make inroads with abortion soon. Thomas recently rebuked his colleagues for not taking up a case on Planned Parenthood, so he’s obviously not afraid to flex his power.
Thomas is willing to break with precedent when it has no constitutional basis, recently calling Roe V. Wade “notoriously incorrect.’ And people who think like him are getting jobs in the Trump administration. Thomas is friends with Donald Trump and Melania, and 20 of his clerks have gone on to serve in the Trump administration or get nominated to the judiciary.
Unfortunately for the left, Thomas has no plans to retire. Why would he quit now?