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May 19, 2011 9:00 AM Clarence Thomas: Scalia Should Resign

By Jonathan Zasloff

Well, not quite. But just look at the quotes.

Clarence Thomas, in a recent speech to Georgia attorneys:

“This job is a humbling job,” he said. “It’s the end of the food chain. And some people can do it, and some can’t. But what it teaches you is that you don’t have all the answers. The people for whom this is an easy job are those who have never done it.”…..

Thomas said one of the most important lessons he learned came early on when Justice Lewis Powell, who retired about four years before Thomas was appointed in 1991, told him something he’ll never forget.

“When you think you belong here, it’s time for you to leave.”

Hmmm..someone who thinks he knows just about everything, and doesn’t bother to do the hard work involved in being a judge? That would be Justice Scalia:

We don’t have the answer to everything, but by God we have an answer to a lot of stuff … especially the most controversial: whether the death penalty is unconstitutional, whether there’s a constitutional right to abortion, to suicide, and I could go on. All the most controversial stuff. … I don’t even have to read the briefs, for Pete’s sake.

“When you think you belong here. it’s time for you to leave.” Keep that in mind, Nino. For the last decade or so, it’s become pretty clear that Thomas is a better judge than Scalia, regardless of what you think of their politics (which I obviously don’t think much of). Thomas is more consistent intellectually. Maybe it’s because he’s a little more humble.

[Cross-posted at Same Facts]

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Jonathan Zasloff is a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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