Home Politics Clarence Thomas: Clarence Thomas is the Court’s Leading Constitutionalist

Clarence Thomas: Clarence Thomas is the Court’s Leading Constitutionalist


An age in which activist judges make law, rather than following it is a time when
Justice Clarence Thomas is a gem on the Supreme Court.

Clarence Thomas, Associate Supreme Court Judge, addressed a dinner function at the Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs (a conservative think-tank) in May 2000. His main topic was his judicial philosophy. 

Answering questions after the speech, Thomas responded to a query from a state politician who asked, “Isn’t the Constitution a living, changing document?” Thomas answered, “His may be living and breathing, but mine’s inanimate.”

Justice Thomas was asked by another individual which cases were most difficult to resolve. “The hard case,” Thomas responded, “is where your heart really wants to do something for somebody and the law says you have no authority. That’s when you see whether or not you are a judge or you’re lawless.”

This philosophy — to follow the Constitution and the law, and not substitute one’s own opinion as to what the law should be — is important to know in order to understand Clarence Thomas’ view of his role as a judge on the highest tribunal in the federal system. Thomas is the Supreme Court’s most prominent justice who has served more than three decades. He has been a leader among those who follow the Constitution as their…

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