Sen. Obama Demeans Justice Thomas' Intellect [UPDATED]
Another reason NOT to vote for Sen. Obama: he's a poor judge of legal talent. When a presidential candidate believes that the most brilliant legal mind and jurisprudential thinker (whether you agree with his jurisprudence or not) on the Supreme Court is not “a strong enough jurist or legal thinker”, then said candidate cannot be trusted to nominate qualified jurists.
The Wall Street Journal opines:
Barack Obama likes to portray himself as a centrist politician who wants to unite the country, but occasionally his postpartisan mask slips. That was the case at Saturday night's Saddleback Church forum, when Mr. Obama chose to demean Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.(emphasis added)
Pastor Rick Warren asked each Presidential candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. Mr. McCain said, "with all due respect" the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.
Mr. Obama took a lower road, replying first that "that's a good one," and then adding that "I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he, I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution." The Democrat added that he also wouldn't have appointed Antonin Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, though he assured the audience that at least they were smart enough for the job.
So let's see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General's office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's second most prominent court. Since his "elevation" to the High Court in 1991, he has also shown himself to be a principled and scholarly jurist.
Meanwhile, as he bids to be America's Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn't yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a "community organizer" and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas's judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama's Presidential résumé by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas's rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama's story look like easy street.
Even more troubling is what the Illinois Democrat's answer betrays about his political habits of mind. Asked a question he didn't expect at a rare unscripted event, the rookie candidate didn't merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court's black conservative isn't up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are.
So much for civility in politics and bringing people together. And no wonder Mr. Obama's advisers have refused invitations for more such open forums, preferring to keep him in front of a teleprompter, where he won't let slip what he really believes.
See also Kathryn Jean Lopez's "Doubting Thomas: What exactly is Barack Obama’s problem with Clarence Thomas?":
... Obama responded: “I don’t think he was an exp . . . ” — he then caught himself — “a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation.”My Comments:
Although a choice sure to fire up his Left base, it was a curious answer, if you consider the record — even beyond the fact that Obama didn’t believe Thomas was qualified to be one of nine in the Supreme Court when Obama’s not quite uber-experienced to be one of one in the White House.
If only left-wing Supreme Court Enemy #1 Justice Thomas were more open to legislating from the judicial bench. Perhaps if he were comfortable with the judicial branch making up laws establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage or legal rights for partial-birth abortion or for foreign terrorists he would be the ideal justice for a Barack Obama administration.
Barack Obama’s answer to Rick Warren’s Supreme Court question was telling. Elections matter. As one politico with experience on Supreme Court fights put it Saturday night, “regardless of what Obama might say about particular decisions, Obama’s justices would not only presumably make up these new rights — they would strip us of our Second Amendment rights while giving child rapists more rights and taking away the rights of the people through their legislators to make these important decisions.” But don’t expect Barack Obama to address any of those actual details.
Sen. Obama's despicable comments about a man - Justice Thomas - who happens to be one of my personal heroes, and which comments play into the racist mantra that black conservatives are lacking in intellect, proves Sen. Obama to be an even bigger low-life partisan hack than for which I had originally given him credit.
"Post-partisan" my arse!
Conservatives Slam Obama’s Answer About Supreme Court Justices at Saddleback Forum:
... “Apparently, Obama can do no better than to recycle discredited statements of Harry Reid when it comes to Justice Thomas. Like other liberal elites, Obama cannot stand it when a black man strays from the ideological plantation and refuses to implement liberal policies through the courts. But Obama will never point out any intellectual deficiencies in Justice Thomas’s work, because he can’t. Justice Thomas’s opinions consistently reveal faithfulness to the Constitution, judicial modesty and deference to the will of the people in our representative democracy. That is opposed to everything that Obama and the liberals are trying to do in grabbing power from the people and giving it to the courts...”(emphasis added)
“Obama’s answer about the three wisest people in his life, upon whom he would rely heavily in his administration, also sheds light on the way he would choose Supreme Court Justices. Obama said he would consult his grandmother, his wife, and Ted Kennedy. This is unlikely to yield the highest quality judicial nominees who understand the Constitution and the role of judges in our constitutional democracy...”