Monday, January 16, 2006


Last night I was listening to a program on Chicago Public Radio, and the host (I can't recall who it was) was interviewing a woman (I can't recall who) about Judge Alito. One of the things she did was make comparisons between him and other conservative justices, such as Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.

Here's the kicker: At one point she says, "Thomas has repeatedly written about how he wants to roll back decades of voting rights laws." Something to that effect.

Wow. That's quite a statement. It boggles my mind that she was allowed to get away with such a thing. What makes it even worse is that there are people out there who will just take her word for it.

Anyone want to demonstrate to me how Clarence Thomas has indicated such? I'd love to see it.


-Murphy said...

She's referring to (at least in part), his opinion in Holder v. Hall, in which six black black registered voters took the county to court, citing the Voting Rights act of 1965, section 2. They claimed that a single member council as a local governing body was in place to disenfranchise minorities. While I've only skimmed the decision as of yet, Thomas appears to be arguing for a reassessment of how section 2 of that act is viewed, which would alter the "voting dilution" premise on which the case was based. Other justices (O'Connor) appear to have taken another route, arguing rather that section 2 makes no provision for a minimum size or makeup of a governing body, avoiding the issue of whether voter dilution is a problem with which the Act can deal.

So the reaction that he's trying to roll back voting rights is a pretty wild accusation, but it's not as though she's just making it up. It's simply that she disagrees with his decision here and her interpretation, while reactionary, isn't fabricated just for kicks and to slander Thomas. On the point of people believing her without any background, I agree. But that's a problem that afflicts both sides.

Additionally, #!@#@! blogger didn't let me log in on the first try (which, I grant, is asking a bit much, but caamaaaaan). :D

-Murphy said...

For some reason, the case showed up as "/*. It's Holder v. Hall, 1994.

Hal said...

Hm . . . I don't know much about the case (or decision) to which you refer, so I can only guess.

However, why on Earth would Clarence Thomas argue that black people shouldn't be allowed to vote (which was the essential tone in which the radio interviewee said this)?

It'd be like me chasing you down screaming, "Death to whitey!"

-Murphy said...

That's the thing. She's using an argument that doesn't actually, technically make much sense, because she's willfully ignoring things that Thomas said that maade sense.