Sen Reid, We demand a writing sample, pronto
So much for new Democrat minority leader Harry Reid being the anti-Daschle. This weekend on MTP, he ripped on Clarence Thomas,
Russert: Why couldn't you accept Clarence Thomas?
Reid: I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I
think that his opinions are poorly written. I don't--I just don't think that
he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice.
James Taranto of OpinionJournal.com's Best of the Web observes,
Now, we haven't read Thomas's entire oeuvre, but we've read quite a few of his opinions, and we wouldn't describe any of them as "poorly written"--much less so poorly written as to make him "an embarrassment to the Supreme Court." (One of our favorite opinions of recent years is Thomas's dissent in Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 case upholding racial preferences in college admissions provided they're vague enough.)
Here it is, an example of one of Clarence Thomas' poorly written opinions,
Like (Fredrick) Douglass, I believe blacks can achieve in every avenue of
American life without the meddling of university administrators. Because I wish
to see all students succeed whatever their color, I share, in some respect, the
sympathies of those who sponsor the type of discrimination advanced by the
University of Michigan Law School (Law School). The Constitution does not,
however, tolerate institutional devotion to the status quo in admissions
policies when such devotion ripens into racial discrimination. Nor does the
Constitution countenance the unprecedented deference the Court gives to the Law
School, an approach inconsistent with the very concept of "strict
No one would argue that a university could set up a lower general admission
standard and then impose heightened requirements only on black applicants.
Similarly, a university may not maintain a high admission standard and grant
exemptions to favored races. The Law School, of its own choosing, and for its
own purposes, maintains an exclusionary admissions system that it knows produces
racially disproportionate results. Racial discrimination is not a permissible
solution to the self-inflicted wounds of this elitist admissions policy.
The majority upholds the Law School's racial discrimination not by interpreting the people's Constitution, but by responding to a faddish slogan of the cognoscenti. Nevertheless, I concur in part in the Court's opinion. First, I agree with the Court insofar as its decision, which approves of only one racial classification, confirms that
further use of race in admissions remains unlawful. Second, I agree with the Court's holding that racial discrimination in higher education admissions will be illegal in 25 years. See ante, at 31 (stating that racial discrimination will no longer be narrowly tailored, or "necessary to further" a compelling state interest, in 25 years). I respectfully dissent from the remainder of the Court's opinion and the judgment, however, because I believe that the Law School's current use of race violates the Equal Protection Clause and that the Constitution means the same thing today as it will in 300 months.
Think what you will about his opinion, but it is certainly not poorly written. What does it say about Harry Reid? Taranto wonders if this opinion is because of Thomas' color. I don't think so. Clarence Thomas is one of these people with whom the Democrats/Left think they can say anything about without consequence. He has been demonized and has become part of the Democrat folklore of evil conservatives. He's John Ashcroft, one generation earlier.