Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Powerhouse Justice

I'm currently reading Supreme Conflict by Jan Crawford Greenburg, who is a correspondent for ABC news. Some pretty illuminating stuff about the SCOTUS, the chronology of which pretty much starts from when Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated and confirmed as a Justice in 1981.

I just recently finished the section on my favorite Justice, Clarence Thomas. Contrary to popular perception and characterization, Thomas was never Justice Scalia's intellectual water boy when he began his tenure on the Court. Indeed, during his first couple of weeks as a Justice, Thomas actually persuaded Scalia to change his mind on two cases.

An interesting side note about Clarence Thomas in Supreme Conflict is that shortly after the contentious battle over his confirmation to the Court, Justice Thomas had apparently discovered, and began drawing spiritual and emotional strength from, the Litany of Humility prayer. Given the words of this prayer, I have to believe that this is what has prevented Justice Thomas from "evolving" on the Court and lurching into judicial activism like Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is largely portrayed as being hyper-sensitive to public opinion.

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