Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas delivered a noteworthy concurring opinion in the recent high court decision that struck down affirmative action. In his opinion, Thomas emphasized American exceptionalism, criticized the concept of victimhood, and directly responded to a dissenting opinion from Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson.
Born into poverty in the Deep South during the era of Jim Crow laws, Thomas brought a poignant and powerful perspective to the issue. In his opinion, released on Thursday, he did not hold back in expressing his views.
Thomas acknowledged that the great failure of the United States was slavery and its lingering effects. He also criticized the misinterpretation of the Reconstruction Amendments by the Court, echoing the predictions made by Justice Harlan in the landmark Plessy case. Thomas stressed that the Court should not repeat past mistakes simply because it believes that current arrangements are superior to the Constitution.
While Thomas recognized the social and economic challenges faced by his race and all who suffer discrimination, he expressed enduring hope that America would live up to its founding principles of equality and equal treatment under the law, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
However, Thomas reserved his strongest criticism for Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson, the only other African American on the high court and author of a dissenting opinion. Thomas argued that Jackson’s “race-infused worldview” fails to account for individuals’ unique experiences, challenges, and accomplishments. He emphasized that one’s race should not be blamed for every aspect of their lives, and he criticized the concept of racial determinism.
Thomas also cautioned against relying on so-called experts to determine racial justice. He argued that Jackson’s dissent called for empowering privileged elites who claim to know what is needed to level the playing field, while ignoring the pitfalls of segregating individuals into racial castes and inciting division. Thomas warned that history has shown the disastrous consequences of such movements that use similar rhetoric.
Many conservatives have praised Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion, highlighting its defense of American values and its rejection of what they perceive as left-wing ideology. It has been pointed out that this ruling serves as an example of why some on the Left seek to remove Thomas from the Court. Critics argue that this opinion is an assertion of conservative principles and a firm stand against what they view as excessive reliance on race as a determining factor in societal issues.
— Christopher Fishell (@chieffishell) June 29, 2023
In conclusion, Justice Clarence Thomas delivered a poignant and powerful opinion on the affirmative action ruling, emphasizing American exceptionalism and rejecting the notion of victimhood. His critique of Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson’s dissent highlights his belief in individual responsibility and the dangers of dividing society along racial lines.
Justice Clarence Thomas’ response to Ketanji Brown Jackson is amazing. pic.twitter.com/Oy1jvHLf9W
— Andrew Wilkow (@WilkowMajority) June 29, 2023