Justice Thomas: ‘Honor Scalia by Reining in Government’Posted: November 19, 2016
Thomas told 1,700 people at a dinner in honor of Scalia that the Supreme Court has too often granted rights to people that are not found in the Constitution.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called on fellow conservatives Thursday to continue the work of the late Justice Antonin Scalia to keep the power of the courts and other branches of government in check.
Thomas told 1,700 people at a dinner in honor of Scalia that the Supreme Court has too often granted rights to people that are not found in the Constitution. He cited the decision in 2015 that made same-sex marriage legal across the country.
Thomas said he and his longtime friend and colleague formed an “odd couple” of a white New Yorker and a black man from Georgia.
He paraphrased Lincoln’s Gettysburg address to exhort the audience to “be dedicated to the unfinished business for which Justice Scalia gave his last full measure of devotion.”
Thomas and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito were the bookends of the Thursday meeting of the Federalist Society, at which conservatives were reveling in Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the presidential election because it is likely to result in the appointment of conservative judges to the Supreme Court and other federal courts.
Alito issued his own rallying cry to conservatives, describing religious freedom and gun rights as among “constitutional fault lines,” important issues at stake in the federal courts.
The conference of conservatism’s leading legal lights took on a new air of importance with Trump’s victory, and included a list of judges the president-elect has named as candidates to fill the vacancy created by Scalia’s death last February.
In their remarks, Thomas and Alito didn’t mention the election or the vacancy, rather using the platform to pay tribute to Scalia, a longtime colleague and conservative ally in high-court battles on hot-button social and political issues.
Alito said Scalia, a hero to many of the group’s 40,000 members, is sorely missed on the court. “We are left to ask ourselves WWSD,” what would Scalia do, Alito said. The lettering is a play on the phrase “WWJD,” for what would Jesus do.
In the halls of the conference there was little formal talk of the election or the fight to seat a new justice. But attendees packed a lunchtime panel moderated by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen, one of 21 people on Trump’s list, and the Supreme Court vacancy was the talk of hallway chatter among lawyers who ranged from Trump backers to those who proclaimed they would never vote for him.
Larsen served as a Supreme Court law clerk to Scalia and said he valued his clerks’ frank assessment of his work. “It was a formidable task to stand up to Justice Scalia and say, ‘You have gone too far.’ But he valued that,” Larsen said….(read more)
Source: Associated Press
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