Author Of New Book On Clarence Thomas Fires Back At The Justices Critics: Hes A Hero

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Author Of New Book On Clarence Thomas Fires Back At The Justices Critics: Hes A Hero


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Justice Clarence Thomas has long been the subject of attacks from the left over his rulings and originalist judicial philosophy, characterized as being “against the little guy” and a “traitor to his race” and, recently, as violating ethics rules — critiques Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amul Thapar sets out to debunk in his new book.

Thapar, author of a new book called “The People’s Justice: Clarence Thomas and the Constitutional Stories that Define Him,” was motivated to write on Thomas after noticing what he called “inaccurate” criticisms leveled against the justice and, more broadly, the judicial philosophy of originalism, which is the idea that laws should be interpreted as they were understood at the time of writing.

“You can only understand what Justice Thomas and originalists in turn are doing if you understand the case themselves and the plight of the litigants in the cases,” Thapar told the DCNF. “Because these cases involve real people and real issues. And I think it’s important for the public to know that.”

Through the eyes of the plaintiffs, Thapar takes a close look at Thomas’ role in a handful of cases, arguing that his adherence to the law’s original meaning protects ordinary people, and defending the justice’s character and consistency in the face of ethics questions prompted by recent reports.

“I noticed he’s been characterized in a lot of ways by his critics, including as a traitor to his race and an Uncle Tom,” Thapar said. “And I think his jurisprudence proves the opposite is true.”

Thomas’ character has been under attack since his confirmation hearing in 1991 — which he referred to during a hearing as a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves” — when he was accused of sexual assault by Anita Hill, who worked with Thomas while he was at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. More recently, he’s been called on to resign by left-wing activist groups following ProPublica reports on undisclosed trips he took with his friend and billionaire Harlan Crow, along with Crow’s purchase of his mother’s home and payment of his grandnephew’s private school tuition.

Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who has been the most vocal of Thomas’ recent critics, called the Supreme Court “a fact-free zone as well as an ethics-free zone” on NBC in May.

Legal experts previously told the DCNF the reports on Thomas did not uncover wrongdoing. Additionally, the Judicial Conference reviewed complaints about the trips in 2012 and determined Thomas had not “willfully or improperly failed to disclose information.”

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Responding broadly to recent allegations, Thapar explained why judges don’t disclose everything.

“When we do disclosures, we try to comply strictly with the rules, but we don’t over disclose,” he said. “The reason we don’t over-disclose is because then it becomes a game of gotcha. If I disclose, for example, that you bought me coffee, then everyone asks, ‘Why didn’t you disclose that Joe brought you coffee, and Diane bought you coffee?’”

Federal judges James Ho and Thomas Hardiman criticized the report on Thomas’ trips at a Federalist Society chapter event in April, with Hardiman rejecting the notion that it is a “scandal.”

Thapar held up originalism as the answer to questions of undue influence.

“Originalists believe that the American people, not nine elected judges, are the source of the law that governs us,” he told the DCNF. “A judge’s obligation in my mind is to determine what those words meant at the time they were enacted and then to apply them in the case that is in front of him or her.”

“Here is the beauty of originalism,” he said. “You can check our work…You can see if we are adhering to the original meaning or if we are changing for some other untold reason.”

Thapar hopes readers walk away from his book with both renewed faith in the institution of the Supreme Court at a time when it is under attack and a clearer understanding of Thomas.

“When the reader reads the book with an open mind, they won’t say he is a traitor to his race,” Thapar said. “They’ll say he is a hero for his race.”

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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