A Great Justice, Ignored Because of his Race

On September 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans.

Despite this, the Museum completely ignores the contributions of Justice Clarence Thomas, who ironically is celebrating 25 years on the bench this year:  

Sunday is the 25th anniversary of Clarence Thomas being sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. From his beginnings in Pin Point, Ga., where he lived in a shanty without indoor plumbing during the Jim Crow era, he has become the longest-serving black justice on the nation’s highest court. He emerged dignified from an undignified Senate confirmation and went on to produce a body of jurisprudence that has been praised by constitutional scholars across the ideological spectrum. But because he’s a black man who challenges liberal orthodoxy, his legacy has often been minimized.

His is a story that should be celebrated by all Americans. That it isn’t is a travesty.

As RNLA Member Mark Poletta details, Justice Thomas should be ranked as a great Justice regardless of his race but isn’t, in part because of his race:

Of Thomas’s approach, SCOTUSBlog’s Tom Goldstein, a well-regarded Supreme Court practitioner, says: “I disagree profoundly with Justice Thomas’s views on many questions,” but if “the measure of a Justice’s greatness is his contribution of new and thoughtful perspectives that enlarge the debate, then Justice Thomas is now our greatest Justice.”

Mainly, though, it’s that Thomas, throughout his career, never wavered from a set of principles that many liberals don’t think a black man can legitimately hold. He believes in individual rights, not group rights, a view enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. He opposes racial preferences both because they are bad policy and because they have no basis in the Constitution. Thomas held those views long before he arrived on the court, but they have been powerfully expressed in many of his opinions.

Thank you, Justice Thomas, for 25 years of faithful service to our country.  We will celebrate your career, even if liberals ignore your accomplishments.