Oh, no. In fact, it works just the opposite. My view is simply that the important thing that it pushes you toward is adherence to your oath, which is to judge impartially. And my view is once you start sort of putting your personal beliefs and opinions into the law, or into the Constitution, you cease to have legitimacy, and I don’t think you should be on the Bench. Now I find that fascinating, though, that people would say things like that, and in the same breath, what I get, is the criticism that I don’t judge as a black judge, you know?2. Thomas loved Justice White:
I’m supposed to somehow include my race in my judging, but the religion, you don’t include in your judging. I don’t think you should include either in your judging, and I don’t. And in sixteen years on the Bench, well, I’m one week short of sixteen years. But in the almost sixteen years I’ve been on the Bench on the Supreme Court, I have never done that. And in the more than sixteen I’ve been a federal judge, I have never done that.
I just loved the way Byron White conducted himself. I love the fact that he felt that the job was important, he felt that the Court was important, that the Constitution and our laws were important, but he wasn’t. that he was there to do his job and go home. And that’s what he did. He was just a good man.3. Has he read "The Nine"? No, and he won't, but he knows Hewitt didn't like it. Hewitt says he thought Jeffrey Toobin was "very unfair" to some of the Justices, the way he made the Court — after Bush v. Gore — look "dysfunctional," with "bitterness is going on and people are crying and crushed." Thomas:
I didn’t see anybody crying. And the last I can remember is that after we announced the opinion, we all went upstairs and had lunch.4. Hewitt asks Thomas if he reads the blogs! He says "no," then backtracks":
HH: He writes in there that the Court’s embarrassed by Bush v. Gore. Is that fair?
CT: I haven’t seen it (laughing). Look, I suffer from the disadvantage that I’m there every day.
CT: I mean, this would all probably make more sense to me if I wasn’t there. I’ve not seen any embarrassment, I haven’t seen any dysfunctional, any evidence that the Court is dysfunctional. And so I can’t, I really can’t comment on something that’s not happening.
No….some of them. You know, occasionally I’ll read something, but not that much.Are the lawprof blogs really "public opinion"? This gets Thomas off the subject of blogs and back to the denial that he lets public opinion affect his decisions. But the law blogs contain legal arguments. Sometimes...
HH: And do your colleagues? Or are they still practicing Supreme Court jurisprudence the old fashioned way, via the briefs and not public opinion?
5. Hewitt asks Thomas if he's "aware of the war," which seems like a ridiculous question, but what he means is does the knowledge of the war affect his judging. But then, Hewitt poses a really insightful question:
HH: I was…when I was reading My Grandfather’s Son, I had an unusual question that I wrote down. Do you understand the jihadists who are these angry, young men, who are locked out of opportunity, who suffer discrimination of the worst sort, and who really have nowhere to go except into this sort of conflict?6. And Hewitt's got a theory about Anita Hill:
CT: Well, I can’t say that I understand them. I do know that for example in this country, and I make this point in the whole portion of the book in 1968, when I talk about being drawn into this whole notion of black power, and that is that you know, when you feel locked out, you do gravitate toward things that feel, that seem empowering. At least that’s the way it was for me. I can’t speak for others. And so this black power notion made you feel, it was invigorating, and it made you feel empowered. And it could also be debilitating, as I found out later, or self-destructive. But I can’t speak for them, but I know in my own case, it was sort of something similar to that, but not nearly as, I guess, as universal.
HH: I want to try out my theory on you, and maybe you can comment or not, but that she had told little lies to explain failures that got out of hand, and she had to defend them. Does that make sense to you?We don't get to hear his speculation, of course.
CT: That makes sense, but you know, again, I can’t, I have not gotten into whether or not…I could speculate, but I think it would probably, it would be remiss if I did so.
7. Hewitt asks him if he likes George Bush:
I admire anybody who stands up and leads. Now you can always disagree with a person here or there, but I admire anybody who gets in a position and actually tries to lead.There's some faint praise!