Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Order in the Court?

Well, almost. In a surprising 8-1 decision, Johnson v. California, the Supremes ruled that the state of California court system made it too difficult for defendants to claim racial bias in jury selection.

Johnson was a black man charged with murder of a white child. During the selection process, the prosecutor managed to systematically exclude every single black juror in the pool from sitting on the case, with the result that Johnson was convicted by the all-white jury.

So naturally this case wound its way through the legal system, all the way to the US Supreme Court, where the court came down solidly on the side of Johnson and against racial profiling and racial discrimination on the part of the state.

But note that there was that single dissenter. Want to take a guess on who that single dissenting voice belonged to?

Clarence Thomas!

Not even "Tony Quack-Quack" Scalia could find a way to rule for the state -- and I'm sure that he tried like hell to do it. And this case marks one of the very few instances in the history of the court where Thomas came down on the opposite side of a case from Scalia.

So what was Thomas's reasoning? That the states ought to be in charge of figuring out how to prevent racial profiling and discrimination on their juries. The states!

Yeah, that whole "states rights" things worked out really well in the past for black defendants in, say, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Thomas's home state of Georgia.

See the excellent commentary on this decision -- "his dissent and rationale is like a Dave Chappelle skit (see Clayton Bixby)" --over at BlackState.com, along with a list of suggested reading for Thomas's summer vacation.

This man is so inept and out of touch with reality that he's actually an embarrassment to the legal profession, and indeed, to the entire American system of jurisprudence. But those jokers get to be justices for life, and while impeachment is always an option, it's not a practical one. It's like the old joke about politicians -- you're okay as long as you don't get caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy...

So I guess that's all we can hope for in the case of Clarence Thomas. He's still young enough (just turned 60) to be around for a long time, still wreaking the kind of havoc and destruction that he's engaged in before (see, for example, Bush v. Gore).

1 Comment:

mrln said...

The states' rights argument didn't seem to bother him, or the other conservative "justices", when they decided to install Bush in the White House.