I found this interesting:
Clarence Thomas is suddenly, for the first time since his confirmation, the main character at the Supreme Court.
Why it matters: Thomas is more powerful than he’s ever been inside the court, and ideas that the legal establishment once treated as his quirky hobbyhorses now carry increasing weight.
The big picture: Thomas has spent years essentially laying out a whole parallel understanding of the law. He’s one of the court’s most prolific authors of solo dissents, according to Adam Feldman of Empirical SCOTUS, and has also written a slew of solo concurrences similar to last week’s.
- Thomas doesn’t just write a dissent here and an additional point about a majority holding there, but rather has created a whole ecosystem of opinions that build on and reference each other almost in the same way as the court’s actual precedents, except for the fact that they are all one man speaking only for himself.
- Thomas’ solo opinion in last week’s abortion case cited 11 of his past opinions, 10 of which were solo opinions. It drew more heavily from the Clarence Thomas Cinematic Universe than from the rest of the court’s historical precedents, dissents and non-Thomas concurrences.
But as the makeup of the court has shifted around him, Thomas’ views have gotten more influential. And that influence will only grow.
Thomas is a huge influence for good. Not just in the gun rights arena, but in rolling back the power of big government.