The Supreme Court's champion dissenter

No one files more solo dissents than Clarence Thomas. What would the world be like if he got his way?

By Salon Staff
Published January 26, 2010 5:27PM (EST)

Some nice work, here by Open Salon contributor Freeman Ng, following up on my Week in Crazy outburst at Clarence Thomas' dissent in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Over the last five years, Clarence Thomas holds the Supreme Court's record for solo dissents. Ng breaks it all down, and his conclusion is a beauty.

What do we make of all this? Is Clarence Thomas a heroic defender of some lost truth? A meticulous watcher over the subtle details of the law? Or is he simply a nut job? One way to decide is to imagine what the world would be like if he had gotten his way in all of these judgments: You could be arrested and incarcerated, and not have a right to counsel until an actual indictment was made. Big parts of the Voters Rights Act would be declared unconstitutional. Middle school girls could be strip searched on suspicion of carrying extra strength ibuprofen. And corporations could spend billions of dollars to influence the outcome of U.S. elections, as they will now anyway, but in total anonymity!

The verdict: Nut job, in an eight to one decision.

Salon Staff

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