Monday, June 08, 2009

buying a justice to buy justice

Two years ago, Justice Clarence Thomas visited my law school while I was in my Third Year and when asked what decision, if any, he regrets, he stated that Republican Party of Minnesota v. White was the case he said he regretted because he believes now that the elections of judges has gotten a bit unseemly.

Yet Justice Thomas voted with the other three extremely conservative justices that it was A-OK for a coal mine owner to spend $3 million to elect a new state supreme court judge (replacing another justice), who became the deciding vote in overturning a $51 million verdict against said coal mine company.

The other 5 members of the Court thought that this conflict of interest was grounds for mandatory recusal.

This marks the latest time that "umpire" Chief Justice Roberts has called a strike for the big corporation and a ball for the little guy (in this case, the owner of a smaller mining company had sued the bigger mining company for driving him out of business and won, so the big CEO drove a justice up for election out of business, calling him a child molester). In fact, Roberts so far has always voted in favor of the government or the big company. The worst was for Exxon Mobile.

And it also marks the latest time that Justice Thomas says one thing and rules crazy conservative another way. He is a nice man, but makes for a terrible justice.

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