Thursday, February 4, 2010

Clarence Thomas Benjamin Tillman: Campaign Finance Laws Designed to Hurt Blacks

Justice Clarence Thomas spoke to law students at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, FL. yesterday and gave the Court's Constitutional reasoning for the controversial striking down of some portions of the country's campaign finance laws. His explanation is dissimilar from any other you've heard, and guess what? It has to do with "race." He also paints a picture of what it is like to sit with the Supremes in a State of the Union address - a picture you and I do not see or hear. He wanted no part of it. See a video below.

 If you need background on campaign finance laws and why it is in the news today, read this, which in short, has a former FEC chairman, Bradley Smith, defending the Supreme Court's ruling, saying unequivocally, the law after the ruling "continues to forbid election spending by foreign corporations. Smith also said the President's decision to reprimand the Court in the middle of a SOTU address was "pure demagoguery."

The remarks of Justice Thomas are always devisive, because he is a conservative Black man, and Lord knows, we can't have that. Just wait until you hear this, which boils down to Democrats trying to restrict the free speech of those favorable (Republicans) to our Black neighbors back to 1907. Source: New York Times:

He added that the history of Congressional regulation of corporate involvement in politics had a dark side, pointing to the Tillman Act, which banned corporate contributions to federal candidates in 1907.

“Go back and read why Tillman introduced that legislation,” Justice Thomas said, referring to Senator Benjamin Tillman. “Tillman was from South Carolina, and as I hear the story he was concerned that the corporations, Republican corporations, were favorable toward blacks and he felt that there was a need to regulate them.”

It is thus a mistake, the justice said, to applaud the regulation of corporate speech as “some sort of beatific action.” 

Justice Thomas said the First Amendment’s protections applied regardless of how people chose to assemble to participate in the political process.

“If 10 of you got together and decided to speak, just as a group, you’d say you have First Amendment rights to speak and the First Amendment right of association,” he said. “If you all then formed a partnership to speak, you’d say we still have that First Amendment right to speak and of association.”

“But what if you put yourself in a corporate form?” Justice Thomas asked, suggesting that the answer must be the same.

Asked about his attitude toward the two decisions overruled in Citizens United, he said, “If it’s wrong, the ultimate precedent is the Constitution.”
In other words, Justice Clarence Thomas chooses to be a servant of Constitutional Law. God Bless this man, Amen.

It was odd to see the Supremes gathered at the SOTU and note the absence of Clarence Thomas. Here is his explanation:
I don’t go because it has become so partisan and it’s very uncomfortable for a judge to sit there,” he said, adding that “there’s a lot that you don’t hear on TV — the catcalls, the whooping and hollering and under-the-breath comments.”

“One of the consequences,” he added in an apparent reference to last week’s address, “is now the court becomes part of the conversation, if you want to call it that, in the speeches. It’s just an example of why I don’t go.”

Others talking about Justice Clarence Thomas and Campaign Finance Laws:

Hot Air -take a look at who did and did not vote to affirm Thomas to SCOTUS

Weekly Standard Blog - suggests Supremes should refuse to attend SOTU in the future:
The presence of the justices is purely a courtesy to the president; there is no statutory requirement or historic precedent which obliges them to sit in the audience. However, as long as their presence is a factor in the executive/legislative "conversation," as Thomas calls it, the justices, en masse, would be to wise to uphold the constitutional principle of the separation of powers, and stay away.
Conservatism with Heart
I also didn't realize that he has stopped attending the State of the Union Addresses all together. He said the latest incident with Obama attacking their decision and Alito's response was a great example of why.
Here is Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, setting the record straight, and by doing so, inadvertently reveals the depth of support by traditional Republicanism for the African American community.

Linked by:
The Anchoress - 90 Minutes with Clarence Thomas
Doug Ross and Larwyn's Linx
Linked by teresamerica

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