Clarence Thomas for President?

Justice Clarence Thomas once said “there’s not much that entices” about his job on the Supreme Court. In yesterday’s Washington Post, Kashmir Hill and David Lat of the legal blog Above the Law suggest Thomas try his hand at something different. How about the presidency?

The Republican Party is in disarray, with no clear message—as shown in last week's primaries—and with no obvious candidate to challenge President Obama in 2012. Thomas could be the GOP's new standard-bearer. He has enviable name recognition, both as a long-serving justice and as the author of the bestselling 2007 autobiography "My Grandfather's Son." And he has already survived the nasty political attacks that marked his 1991 confirmation hearings.

A Thomas candidacy would bring racial diversity and a moving personal story to the Republican ticket. Thomas was born into poverty in Pin Point, Ga. He didn't have indoor plumbing until he moved to Savannah to live with his grandparents at age 7....

Thomas is well suited for political office. On the nation's highest court, he has had to reflect and rule on the country's most divisive issues. He also has political experience predating the court. He worked as an assistant attorney general in Missouri and then for the Reagan administration in the Department of Education and as head of the EEOC.

And it's clear that Thomas prefers the open road over cloistered chambers. During the court's summer recesses, he enjoys driving around the country in his motor home, parking at Wal-Marts and seeing "a part of real America," as his wife put it in an interview with WNYC's "The Takeaway." Thomas says he loves it because it "gets you out among your fellow citizens." The justice could spend the next two years in his RV, simply adding a sign to its side: "Vote Clarence Thomas!"

Read the whole thing here.

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  • ||

    As a supporter of President Obama, I would love to see Thomas be the 2012 GOP nominee.

  • Warty||

    I don’t know what the code meant. If I did, it would be too late. To understand the code is to carry out its instructions. Maybe I was to become a transmitter like Tyler, unwittingly passing the code on the main target. Maybe I was the main target and would begin the countdown to things once I got the code. I knew our only chance was for me to blast Tyler before he got to part two.

    So that’s what I did.

  • matt||

    A leading figure of the Meat Industry Racket for prez? Please run this guy, I'd love to see him get the tar and feathers he deserves, the WRETCHED FUCKING BASTARD

  • easy mark auto reply||

    Racist.

  • JB||

    Fixed:

    As a supporterslurper of President Obama...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    During the court's summer recesses, he enjoys driving around the country in his motor home...

    All the supremes should do this. They could move about the country, dispensing high court decisions right there on the spot!

  • ||

    1789 Act of Congress, requiring Supreme Court Justices to preside twice a year over circuit courts scattered throughout the Union, meant months of ragged travel. “Circuits press hard on us all,” moaned Chief Justice John Jay. After jolting in a stagecoach many hours daily over savage roads of ruts and rocks or helping lift the stagecoach from quagmires of mud, the Justices passed restless nights in crowded way stations. Battered and exhausted by the rigors of travel, Justices often arrived at the circuit courts too late or too sick to hold a session. Still, their visits served to acquaint the people with the new judiciary branch.

    Just like the old days.

  • ||

    I recall an interview with Thomas where he said he'd very much like to do that, if only for a few weeks each year.

  • Kolohe||

    Does his wife cook rabbits?

  • Monkey RobbL||

    All the supremes should do this. They could move about the country, dispensing high court decisions right there on the spot!

    Like constitutional Judge Roy Beans!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I was thinking about Judge Dredd but okay.

  • ¢||

    He'd be the least bad President we ever had—but not by much, so it's not worth it.

    What if Thomas left the high court, ran against Obama and lost?

    Shiny Mao heads on the Court's Unnamed Celebration Tree. And other fun stuff.

  • ||

    Good God, no.

    This would mean Obama replaces our most consistent Constitutionalist with some kind Living Constitution twaddle-knocker.

  • ||

    Would he have to resign? I cannot think of a law that says a sitting member of one branch can't campaign for office in another branch. Clearly, he could not hold both offices. But why couldn't he be a judge and run for President? Sitting members Congress do that.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Nope. He could run and if he lost just go back to slapping bitches from the bench.

    Kind of a no-lose for him, or something.

  • ||

    My reaction.

  • Paul||

    Done and done.

  • Max||

    How about having him run a Porn Paul's VP? That might put those racist newsletters to bed. Then again, it might not. Fringe politics are tough.

  • Max||

    Sorry, Ron Paul's. I don't know where that Porn came from.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A phrase uttered to so many wives, IT guys and deputy sheriffs.

  • Some Guy||

    How about a Palin/Thomas ticket? That way the LP might have a chance to finish second with 8% of the vote.

  • B||

    +1

  • ||

    "Some Guy" is my handle. Why not call yourself "some other guy?"

  • Yonemoto||

    I think we need to have some sort of auctioning scheme for these handles.

  • Yonemoto||

    I bid $1000 for "Yonemoto."

  • Yonemoto||

    I think I lose.

  • pantsfan ||

    payable directly to my paypal account.

  • Some Guy||

    There was another Some Guy who came after me and now goes by "TheOtherSomeGuy." So I have that win as a precedent.

  • Paul||

    How about a Palin/Thomas ticket? That way the LP might have a chance to finish second with 8% of the vote.

    Why would you fuck up a Thomas ticket with Palin?

  • Some Guy||

    Because if you're going to hand Obama a gift wrapped 2nd term, I at least want to be entertained.

  • ||

    Ironically, if Thomas was elected President we could pull a Clinton on him and ask him questions under oath about who he has sexually harassed (or had consentual sex with) until he lies about something...

  • ||

    Ingredients

    * 3 cups dry red wine
    * 2 cups beef stock
    * 1/4 cup Marc de Bourgogne (or 2 tablespoons brandy, plus 2 tablespoons grappa, or 1/4 cup brandy)
    * 1 large onion, peeled and cut in quarters
    * 2 carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
    * 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
    * 12 parsley stems
    * 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    * 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    * 10 black peppercorns
    * 4 whole cloves
    * 4 allspice berries
    * 1 bay leaf
    * 3 pounds well-marbled beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
    * 1/2 pound slab bacon
    * 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
    * 1 tablespoon olive oil
    * 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    * 1 pound pearl onions, carefully peeled
    * Pinch sugar
    * 1 pound white mushrooms, cleaned (used the smallest ones you can find)
    * 1 tablespoon flour
    * 1/4 cup very finely minced fresh parsley leaves (no stems)

    Directions

    In a large bowl, combine the red wine, beef stock, brandy, onion, carrots, garlic, parsley stems, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, and bay leaf. Stir well to blend. Add the beef, and stir. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.

    The next day drain the beef, reserving the marinade and vegetables separately. Pat the beef dry with towels, and season it well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

    Cut the slab bacon the long way into 1/4-inch-thick slices; then cut these slices into lardons that are 1/2-inch long. Cover the lardons with cold water, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the lardons and reserving.

    Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Dry off the lardons, add them to the Dutch oven, and cook stirring often, until they are golden. With a slotted spoon transfer the lardons to paper towels to drain.

    In the same Dutch oven, over high heat, brown the drained and dried-off beef in the remaining bacon fat, in batches so the meat browns evenly. When you are done, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Return all of the browned beef to the pot.

    Add the vegetable and herb mixture reserved from the marinade, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for 5 minutes.

    Add the reserved marinade liquid and tomato paste. Bring the liquid to a boil, and taste it for seasoning. Cook in the oven, covered for 3 hours.

    After 3 hours, Remove meat and strain sauce. Skim the fat from the stew.

    Make the vegetable garnish: Place the pearl onions in a skillet, cover them with water, add 1 tablespoon of butter, the sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the onions over medium-high heat until they are almost tender. and raise heat to high, and reduce the cooking liquid to 2 tablespoons. Continue to cook the onions, shaking the pan over the heat, until the onions are golden brown and glazed.

    In another skillet set over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter; add the mushrooms. Add reserved lardons and salt and pepper to taste. Cook mixture, tossing often, for 7 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Meanwhile, prepare the beurre manie: Cream together 1 tablespoon of softened butter with 1 tablespoon of flour. Roll the mixture into pieces the size of peas.

    Add the cooked onions and mushrooms to the stew. Bring the liquid to a simmer, and add enough beurre manie, bit by bit, stirring constantly, to lightly thicken the sauce.

    Divide the boeuf bourguignon among 6 dinner plates. Serve immediately.

  • hamilton||

    I recognize this! This is directly from David Rosengarten's "Taste" cookbook. It is a spectacular recipe, one that I make often.

  • ||

    My wife hates it when I break out the Dutch oven.

  • ||

    That's funny, your wife loves it when I do . . .

  • ||

    +1

  • Esoteric||

    This shit is annoying when the Kos Kidz do it over on their site and I'd just as soon it not be imported over to Reason, troll or no troll.

  • xx||

    +1

  • ||

    Silence is golden.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Porn Paul. The mind boggles.

  • ||

    I believe Thomas prefers Long Dong Silver anyway.

  • B||

    Shorter this: hey, the GOP should try a black guy, too!

    Look, I respect the hell out of Justice Thomas, but this piece is the dumbest pure presidential fantasy fiction since, well...OK, Fred Thompson.

  • Max to Laughing Woman||

    IT'S NOT A CLIT, I TELL YOU!

  • ||

    Should we trust a justice who has political aspirations?

  • josey||

    "Should we trust a justice person who has political aspirations?"

  • CE||

    We should trust anyone who calls himself (or herself) a "justice".

  • Ska||

    This reminds me of the part in O Brother Where Art Thou where Pappy O'Daniel tells his entourage that if they hire their own midget, they'll look like a bunch of Johnny-come-latelies.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Don't matter how stumpy!

  • Hugh Akston||

    That's the problem with this Obama fella. People think he got fresh ideas.
    He's au currant. We're the past.

  • Ray||

    I'm sure libtards are going to "advocate" Scalia, Roberts, and Alito run for office too. Out of the pure goodness of their hearts of course.

  • ||

    Was it wrong to ask Clinton about who he sexually harassed? If it was inappropriate to ask Clinton about his behavior, at what level of government is sexual harassment permissible behavior. President, Senator, Representative, Governor? Where, Dan T, do you draw the line? Does it matter if there is an (D) or a (R) after their name?

    Despite voting Republican most of the time, I though not only did Clinton not deserve to be impeached, but was also a stupid move by the Republicans. Though Clinton's abuse of power over a summer intern and lying under oath are not behaviour I find commendable; impeachable offenses they are not.

  • ||

    Threaded comments sux, the above was supposed to be a respons to Dan T's drivel at 6.14.10 @ 12:23PM|.

  • Old Man with Candy||

    You have a pretty dim grasp of civil law. Who is suing Thomas?

  • creech||

    Irrespective of other considerations, Thomas would have more experience going into the presidency than the current guy had.

  • Tomcat1066||

    I've got a pet rock with more experience than the current guy has.

  • Old Man with Candy||

    Most consistent advocate of First Amendment on the Court. I'd hit it.

  • ||

    I actually do plan on running for President - if Justice Scalia says it's okay...

  • ||

    Thomas is very much his own man and votes better than Scalia (from the libertarian perspective). I'm surprised how much the left harps on him being Scalia's bitch, which I can't help but view as a little racist.

  • Yonemoto||

    agreed.

  • ||

    Even when he finds on the same side as Scalia he doesn't necessarilly agree with him.

    Example: Lawrence v. Texas.

    Scalia ruled in his opinion that Texas had a right to pass laws to prevent the scourge of buggery.

    Thomas opined that there was nothing in the COTUS to stop states from having stupid laws, but if he were a state legislator he would have voted against that one.

  • Geotpf||

    I think this is due to the "Silent Clarence" persona he projects during oral arguments more than anything else (such as his race). That is, the thinking is if he was "his own man", he would speak up more often.

    Of course, if he was president, he probably would end up as popular as "Silent Cal" was. Of course, he would A. Lose to Obama or pretty much anybody, including in the primaries and B. Never run for the job in the first place.

  • Tman||

    Thomas is BY FAR the best SCOTUS judge left in terms of limiting the scope of government. His dissent in Raich should be tatooed on every SCOTUS for ever and ever, most importantly this line-

    “If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything—and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.”

    I would like to know more about what Thomas stands for in terms of foreign policy and economic policy before getting behind him to run, but you can't tell me that he wouldn't be an interesting choice. Imagine the way he would destroy candidates during the debates, that alone would be worth voting for just to see.

    I do worry how his replacement for the court would be handled if he ran and won, but I would think he could stay if he loses, right?

  • Yonemoto||

    Uhm, basically, doesn't *he* get to nominate his replacement, if he wins? Right?

  • Tman||

    That's what I would think, but who knows.

  • werty||

    TOKE TOKE TOKE
    until I GO broke
    SMOKE SMOKE SMOKE
    until I go CROAK

  • ||

    That's funny.

    Thomas is too smart.

    Not in the "too smart to want to be President" sense; in the "too smart to be acceptable to the Republican powers-that-be" sense.

    The Republican National Committee will undoubtedly latch on to some repugnant babbling cretin who will ensure they go down in flames in 2012.

  • CE||

    Thomas is too smart... Not in the "too smart to want to be President" sense; in the "too smart to be acceptable to the Republican powers-that-be" sense.

    I heard that said about Mitt Romney as well. The bar is set pretty low, apparently.

  • ||

    It's too soon to tell whether the Republicans are going to go down the path of ideological mouthfoamery and nominate a Palin/Bachmann type or whether they are going to seek competence as the primary running point to prove a marked contrast with Obama. A Mitch Daniels/Chris Christie type. The latter is probably the smart move, although you always are running a risk when you run a bland but competent technician against a candidate running on charisma. Gary Johnson is my early pick as a combination of executive competence and principled governance but doubt he'll get very far, especially if he keeps emphasizing medical marijuana, important as it is, as his primary interest. Pawlenty is likeable if too vanilla (not being racist), but his record is mediocre, albeit he is dealing with a Dem Congress. Romney's healthcare waffling will cost him the primary, overriding his image of managerial competence. Demint is possible, but has no executive experience and is maybe a bit too orthodox to appeal to centrists. Huckabee is still the one who scares me the most, as he is charismatic enough to win the nomination but epitomizes everything that is bad about Republicans, lest we forget his F rating from Cato. My gov Rick Perry - I hate the guy - but he does have a compelling blend of managerial competence and conservative ideology (recently ranked the best governor in the country by Cato re: fiscal responsibility). It will be interesting to watch.

    More importantly, if the Dems lose one or both houses, will Obama triangulate to the center like Clinton and repair his image in time for the 2012 election?

  • Joel||

    Yeah, the GOP will pick another of their "old boys" in Congress because it's his turn. It's what they do.

    Nobody who even gives a hint of an intention of making actual change has a prayer. No matter who wins, we lose.

  • Geotpf||

    Typically, they pick the person "whose turn it is", regardless of whether or not they can beat the Democratic candidate. In 2012, the person whose turn it is is probably Palin.

  • ||

    If elected President, I will weep about how unfair it is that black people have all the advantages in our society...

  • Yonemoto||

    Having Clarence Thomas run for president (and winning) is our best chance at getting Janice Rogers Brown on the Supreme Court.

  • ||

    That would rock.

  • Black Democrats||

    We ain't votin' for that Uncle Tom!

  • WTF||

    Does anyone else remember just a few months ago, when a magazine (was it Essence? Or Ebony? Or something like that) included Clarence Thomas on its list of black people that black were most embarrased by and would most like to disavow?

    That whole article was pretty disgusting. Thomas's heinous offense against people of his skin color? He ruled against issues Democrats tended to be in favor of. Riiiiight.

  • ||

    I was very surprised to find myself on that list.

    Can I get you another drink?

  • ||

    For those unaware of the article in question

    http://www.theroot.com/multime.....ck-history

  • Ska||

    Man, that comments section is a shit show.

    Unlike H&R. ;P

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Maybe he could run on "Strip Searches for All Teens!" platform.

  • Right Wing Realist||

    I would vote for that.

  • ||

    This is a horrendous idea. Let Justice Thomas be Justice Thomas.

  • Right Wing Realist||

    Sure, lets just give Obama the 5th liberal on the court.

  • ||

    I could see a Republican picking Thomas to be his running mate, maybe. That's about it. He's got way too much baggage- both personal and from his easily-attacked history on the court- to ever submit himself to a campaign that would make his confirmation look like a walk in the park.

    Besides, Gary Johnson 2012!

    Er, I mean, tax-exempt speaking out on the issues of the day 2012!

  • MJ||

    Vice President would be the worst high office possible for Thomas. No concrete authority or influence over policy and law and no ability to run off RV'ing when he wants to take a break.

  • DRM||

    Meh. The Presidency would be an even worse fit for Thomas. More celebrity, more constant criticism, less time to himself.

  • ||

    I like the way Johnson says he's running for president. He's my top pick, but talk about baggage. I still think Mitch Daniels has the inside track on the nomination.

  • ||

    Does Johnson have skeletons in the closet? Whatever it is can't be as bad as the Ron Paul newsletters.

  • ||

    I was just talking about his position on drug legalization. And while Paul's newsletters got the Reason Staff's panties in a wad, doubtful they cost him much Republican support.

  • Ham Sandwich||

    That's because the aPauling moRon didn't have any Republican support to lose in the first place. Being a leftard-sound-alike peace-at-any-price retard who hangs out with known anti-semitic kooks will do that to you.

  • ||

    I look sharp in that NASCAR leather jacket, don't I?

  • qwerty||

    Thomas would make a superb president. The fact that someone like him can't get elected and that someone like Obama can tells us how far we've gone from the notion of limited government.

  • ||

    I still think Mitch Daniels has the inside track on the nomination.

    Yeah, and when he merely insinuated he might not kowtow to the "social conservatives" there was an outraged pile-on.

  • ||

    Daniels got a glowing spread in the Weekly Standard. And there's money behind him. Who was doing the piling-on, anyone that really matters?

  • MJ||

    The Weekly Standard was the mag that was always pushing McCain on the GOP. Their opinion on this sort of thing is questionable.

  • ChrisO||

    Who gives a shit about what a couple of folks who write for Above the Law think about presidential politics? That's essentially a gossip site for and about dipshit first-year associates at big law firms.

    Why not ask the editors of TMZ what they think? Maybe that will be in the Post next week.

    As for Clarence Thomas, I've met the man and cannot imagine him possibly wanting to run for president. For one thing, he doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who likes the glad-handing bullshit necessary to succeed in electoral politics.

  • The Dude||

    I did not know that Thomas is a friend of us libertarians. What about his expansive view of executive power? Is his ruling in Lawrence OK?

    I'd like to hear the libertarian arguments for him. I'm definitely open to changing my opinion on him.

  • ||

    I'd almost bet on Mitt Romney getting the GOP nod and winning the Presidency, assuming he doesn't put Palin on the ticket.

  • ||

    I'd almost bet on Mitt Romney getting the GOP nod and winning the Presidency, assuming he doesn't put Palin on the ticket.

  • ||

    I'd almost bet on Mitt Romney getting the GOP nod and winning the Presidency, assuming he doesn't put Palin on the ticket.

  • ||

    I'd bet against that. RomneyCare was a slight stone's throw in badness from ObamaCare and is proving as such every day. If competent executives are what Republicans want, there are better examples.

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