Justice Clarence Thomas Says Washington Is Broken

Justice Clarence Thomas Says Washington Is Broken

This Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas celebrated 25 years on the bench at an event at the conservative Heritage Foundation. The Supreme Court now only has eight judges on the bench, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. With only eight justices, the Supreme Court does not have a tie-breaker vote. But Senate is refusing to even consider the nomination from current president Barack Obama. Judge Merrick Garland is a judicial moderate, but the Republican majority in the Senate is blocking Garland’s confirmation hearing. At the conservative event, Justice Clarence Thomas talked about the “broken” culture in Washington politics.

Justice Clarence Thomas Criticizes Washington Politics

The Senate and the Obama administration are locked in a dispute that has seen Judge Garland’s nomination put on hold for the past eight months. When asked to express his views about the judicial confirmation process, Judge Clarence Thomas took the opportunity to criticizes the political bitterness that is affecting the process.

“This city is broken in some ways.”

Said Justice Clarence Thomas.

The Supreme Court Justice did not speak directly about the current situation on the bench. Nor did he mention the name of Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. Instead, he talked more generally and complained about a political culture where people “aren’t thinking things through”. He lamented a lack of constructive dialogue between the two political sides.

“We have decided rather than confront disagreements and the differences of opinion, we will simply annihilate the person who disagrees.”

Said Justice Clarence Thomas.

The Affordable Care Act and the Second Amendment

Justice Clarence Thomas spoke broadly about matters concerning the Supreme Court. He didn’t elaborate on the challenge to Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. But, the justice took the opportunity to take a swipe at the federal health law, making a reference to recent reports that premiums for health plans through HealthCare.gov are going to go up. The justice had voted against the federal health law when it was before the Supreme Court.

“It seems like a misnomer considering all the things that are going on.”

Said Justice Clarence Thomas, talking about the Affordable Care Act.

Another issue that Justice Clarence Thomas talked about is the Second Amendment. The justice believes that the Supreme court should do more to clarify the landmark opinion that Justice Antonin Scalia gave in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. Supporters of gun rights are complaining that the lower courts are disregarding the opinion of the Supreme Court. Some would like to see another Second Amendment case before the court. About the Second Amendment, Justice Clarence Thomas said that some “want to pretend it doesn’t exist”.

Justice Clarence Thomas took the time to remember Justice Antonin Scalia. Clarence Thomas was fond of Scalia even though their backgrounds were very different. Justice Antonin Scalia used to love the opera. Which is something that Justice Clarence Thomas didn’t hold dear.

“I like opera, I just don’t want to be around the people who like opera.”

Said Justice Clarence Thomas.

Image source: Flickr

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