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Supreme Court Justices Pose For Formal Group Photo

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on April 23, 2021. | Source: Pool / Getty

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a congressional map in South Carolina that a lower court ruled was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander that resulted in the “bleaching of African American voters” from a district. Like virtually every issue concerning blatant systemic racism, the six conservative justices sided with whiteness and outvoted the three Democratic judges, and with that 6-3 vote, it was decided that yet another red state’s voting map drawn intentionally to dilute Black voting power was constitutional and, probably, not even all that racist.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. essentially took the position that the lawmakers who drew the racist voting map said they didn’t do it for racist reasons and they should be afforded the “presumption that the legislature acted in good faith,” despite intentionally drawing a voting map that only negatively affected Black voters. But that racially tone-deaf opinion might have only been outdone by that of Justice Uncle Thomassorry—Clarence Thomas, who, in his opinion, suggested that in 1954, the Supreme Court overreached its authority in the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision that ruled racial segregation in schools unconstitutional.

From Axios:

The court “took a boundless view of equitable remedies” in the Brown ruling, wrote Thomas, who in 1991 replaced Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall — the first Black Supreme Court Justice and the lead lawyer in the Brown case.

Those remedies came through “extravagant uses of judicial power” to end racial segregation in the 1950s and 60s, Thomas wrote.

Federal courts have limited power to grant equitable relief, “not the flexible power to invent whatever new remedies may seem useful at the time,” he said, justifying his opinion to keep a predominantly white congressional district in South Carolina.

So, basically, Thomas has taken the position that the courts can’t just go around correcting egregiously anti-Black racism all willy-nilly and that the Supreme Court justices who presided over the Brown decision failed to stay within the confines that American white supremacy allowed. Remember when Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison likened Thomas to Stephen from Django Unchained and Republicans lost their collective minds over it? All I’m saying is that at some point, the comparison is actually going to become an insult to Stephen.

Thomas’ position isn’t surprising, of course. After all, he also voted to protect the Alabama GOP’s racial gerrymandering initiatives in Merrill v. Milligan. Fortunately, in that case, the conservative-leaning court issued a rare 5-4 ruling that protected the Voting Rights Act instead. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, Thomas suggested the court revisit the rulings that established marriage equality and contraceptive rights calling them “demonstrably erroneous decisions.” When the court struck down affirmative action last year, Thomas was one of the leading voices in favor of dismantling the same affirmative action policies that sent him to law school.

It’s as if Thomas has a civil rights protection eradication bingo card he’s trying to complete for prizes equivalent to the luxurious bribes conservative billionaires use to put him in their pockets (allegedly, or whatever).

Thomas appears to have dedicated his platform on America’s highest court to undoing the legacy of his predecessor, Thurgood Marshall. Sad.


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