Justice Thomas Tells It Like It Is

Justice Clarence Thomas was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a few days ago talking with students. As usual, he was a breath of fresh air. He was asked about his judicial philosophy:

Justice Clarence Thomas rejects suggestions he’s a follower of originalism in interpreting the Constitution. “I am a follower of get-it-rightism,” he says, bringing laughter from law students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Thomas says it’s important to understand what is meant in the original document, what the words mean. “It’s a Constitution that’s written in words,” he says. “What, do people think it’s written in symbols? You need to say you’re a textualist. What else am I supposed to do, use a Ouija board, chicken bones?”

Thomas said he enjoys the time he spends in the Midwest:

“This is a wonderful place and it’s worth saving,” he says. “This is a wonderful country and it’s worth saving. It is a wonderful Constitution and it’s worth saving.” As for his trip to America’s heartland, Thomas says it’s important to get away from the inside-the-Beltway cynicism of Washington D.C.

“It really helps to go see that other people are doing things, that they actually believe in their country, that they actually want it to work, that they’re willing to sacrifice,” Thomas says. “That’s what I hear. I think we dishonor them when we go inside that Beltway and we become a tower of Babel and only talk to each other in a sort of cynical, smarmy way.”

And he deplored the expansion of the federal courts into nearly every nook and cranny of life:

Thomas, who enters his 20th year on the nation’s high court next month, says the courts have become too involved in too many things. “I don’t know about all of these big moral questions any better than anybody else,” he says. “Unless I have a law to deal with, I think we’re off our terrain.”

Via Ann Althouse.

If you want to read a truly inspiring book, check out Thomas’s memoir, My Grandfather’s Son.

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