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As Justice Clarence Thomas faces attacks from liberals, including a recent petition to have him removed from the George Washington University faculty, the justice is more influential than ever, justice experts tell Fox News.
“The left has been after Clarence Thomas since December 1980, actually, just as he was about to join the Reagan administration. And they hate it,” Mark Paoletta told Fox News Digital. Paoletta was with the George HW Bush administration during Thomas’s confirmation and helped recruit him for the position.
“They have tried to destroy it. They have tried to marginalize him,” Paoletta said. “And 30 years later, not only is he still going strong. His influence is at its zenith.”
Conservatives, especially those frustrated with the sometimes centrist rulings of Chief Justice John Roberts, have hailed Thomas as the cornerstone of the court’s conservative bloc this term.
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His most important written opinion was the majority opinion in a New York gun case last month that was seen as a major victory for Second Amendment advocates. But perhaps his biggest victory was Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Thomas, Paoletta said, had been asking the court to do that for decades.
“He didn’t write it, but Justice Thomas, in my opinion, the current majority, greatly influenced the court because of the courage he has shown in his case law,” Paoletta said. “Judge Thomas has been writing about overturning Roe for 30 years.”
Notably, Thomas was the highest-ranking judge in the majority in the Dobbs case. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a concurring opinion saying he would uphold the Mississippi law underlying the litigation, but would not strike down Roe in its entirety. That means Thomas assigned the majority opinion to Alito.
“On so many issues, he used to be a lone dissenter or only joined by Justice Scalia, but now he is the leader of a majority of justices who share his commitment to originalism and the rule of law,” said Carrie, president of Judicial Crisis. Network. Severino told Fox News Digital. Severino was employed by Thomas.
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“This term, in the Bruen case, wrote the majority opinion clarifying the Second Amendment,” Severino added. “Last term, the court finally recognized that the First Amendment protects the right to anonymous expression, something that Thomas had previously defended as a lone voice.”
Thomas’s greatest influence comes as the Liberals continue to escalate their attacks on him. The judge has come under fire for the proximity of his wife, Virginia, to allies of former President Donald Trump as they tried to nullify the 2020 presidential election based on false claims that he was robbed.
He has also seen protests outside his home, harsh words from his former law school classmate Hillary Clinton, who called him an angry “tort person,” and, more recently, an effort to remove him from his teaching duties at GW.
A group of students circulated a petition calling for Thomas to be fired because he not only supported Roe’s overturning, but also wrote a concurring opinion that said other cases based on the same legal theories, including rights, should be reviewed. of homosexuals.
The university refused to remove Thomas from her class, which Paoletta says is “one of the most popular courses at GW. I mean, there’s a waiting list to get in.”
“This term shows the enormous influence of Justice Thomas…” Paoletta said. “Everything is coming to fruition with the court lining up with him this term.”
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Democrats, meanwhile, see this term as a sign that the conservative majority on the court will use its power to improperly advance a partisan agenda.
“This term has laid to rest any doubt about whether the Republican majority will exercise even a modicum of restraint in implementing its radical agenda,” said Brian Fallon, executive director of the liberal group Demand Justice. “In just one term, they have decimated the country’s focus on abortion rights, climate change, gun violence prevention, tribal sovereignty, and a host of other important issues.”
“The only thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the United States Supreme Court in overturning not only Roe v. Wade, but essentially challenging the right to privacy,” President Biden said Thursday.
David Rutz and Bailee Hill of Fox News contributed to this report.