Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thurgood Marshall An Overrated Activist

Recently the leftists have once again launched an attack of Justice Clarence Thomas while extolling the brilliance and accomplishments of Justice Thurgood Marshall.  Without defending Justice Thomas who really doesn’t need defending perhaps it is time to take a critical look at Thurgood Marshall.  Perhaps the best place to start this review would be to quote Marshall’s comments on the founding fathers – those men who actually wrote the Constitution.  Toward the end of his lackluster career Marshall said:

I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever fixed at the Philadelphia Convention.   Nor do I find the wisdom of, foresight and sense of justice exhibited by the framers particularly profound, 

This dismissal of Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, et al as neither wise nor profound comes from a man who was addicted to soap operas – particularly “Days of Our Lives “ and who relied on his law clerks to write his opinions and many times didn’t even bother to read the briefs submitted to him as he spent hours in his chambers watching soap operas.  He once told Justice Brennan that “you can learn a lot from soap operas”.  So much for Marshall as a legal scholar – a man who once said the notions of “liberty”, “Justice”, and “equality” were outdated.  Without doubt Marshall had only a vague grasp and understanding of the Constitution much less any real understanding of the framers.  In fact Marshall was an “activist” Justice with little regard for the law.  When asked about his legal philosophy he said “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up”.  He didn’t see his role as upholding the law much less the Constitution; in effect he saw his role as making law where none existed. 

What Marshall never seemed to grasp or even understand was that the Constitution established principles of government and did not enshrine injustice, discrimination, or inhumanity no matter what he thought.  The fact that these ever existed in the United States were the result of imperfections in the people of the time and not the Constitution itself.  An objective examination of Marshall’s track record as a lawyer and Justice clearly shows that he was obsessed with race and was in fact a racist himself.  When challenged about his legal positions he once retorted “You guys have been practicing discrimination for years.  Now it’s our turn.”  That seems to sum up his position on race, his activist positions, and his rationale for simply ignoring the law if it conflicted with his opinion on the matter.

 Marshall’s most celebrated case was Brown vs The Board of Education which led to school desegregation and ultimately to his appointment to the Supreme Court.  While Marshall was a hero to the black population and to civil rights protestors, he failed to get the widespread approval that he and his aging constituents who thought nothing of breaking the law, murdering policemen, and attacking anyone and anything they didn’t agree with, like the Weather Underground, thought he deserved.  Many of these extremists currently occupy positions both official and unofficial in the Obama administration.  However, Marshall had many critics and among them was his colleague Justice Brennan, who was disappointed in Marshall’s performance on the court.

A review of Marshall’s cases, including those authored by him and Justice Brennan, do not follow or conform to the Constitution..  It is clear that whatever the intent or objective of the framers of the Constitution may have been, Marshall and Brennan would both automatically vote against that understanding of the Constitution.  This pattern demonstrated Marshall’s publicly stated position that the framers of the Constitution and any intent they may have had was – in his opinion, irrelevant today.  The reality is that in spite of his oath to defend and support the Constitution Marshall simply ignored it, setting the paradigm for “activist” judges who legislate from the bench, ignoring the law both figuratively and literally..

In contrast to Marshall we have Justice Clarence Thomas – vilified and attacked by the left leaning elites who glorify Marshall.  But Justice Thomas is a justice who, unlike Marshall, believes he is sworn to uphold the law and the Constitution.  During his tenure on the Supreme Court Thomas has consistently demonstrated support for the original understanding of the Constitution.  He has not been influenced or swayed by the precedents and interpretations that have completely distorted the original understanding and approach to the constitution that have led to confusing and contradictory decisions.  These precedents based on other precedents have clouded what the constitution says and means to the point where they hide the original meaning and nuances described in the Constitution and intended by the framers.  It is Justice Thomas who is leading the charge to return to the original understanding of the Constitution and to strip away these layers of muddled decisions, contradictions, and precedents established by activist judges like Marshall.

The reality is Justice Thomas is a Justice who supports the Constitution, honors his oath to support the law, and opposes politically driven decisions characterized by Marshall, Brennan, and other judges who render decisions based on their personal beliefs rather than the law and constitution as written.  The elites worship Marshall but Thomas is clearly the better lawyer and judge.