Justice Clarence Thomas Becoming More Powerful on Supreme Court

Justice Clarence Thomas Becoming More Powerful on Supreme Court

(RightWing.org) – Veteran Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has spent three decades earning a reputation as a quiet jurist who’s more concerned with protecting the Constitution than setting precedents or being an activist judge. But is he now pushing for more of a leadership role?

Justice Thomas, confirmed to his position on October 15, 1991 — 30 years ago last Friday — is now the longest-serving member of the Court – but in all that time, he’s only asked a handful of questions. Thomas is famously unconcerned with legal precedent or evolving interpretations of the Constitution; he believes courts should interpret it in keeping with the way its framers intended the document to be. That’s led to him being a remote, sometimes even lonely figure on the Court.

Thomas’s approach might be changing, though. When the Court’s 2021/22 term opened on October 4, Thomas was the first to start questioning counsel. That could be a sign he plans to take a more active role from now on – and legal analysts think they know why.

Until recently, Chief Justice John Roberts wasn’t just the Court’s top justice; he was also its point of balance – the member who was most likely to be on the majority side of any vote. Justice Brett Kavanaugh holds that position now. The Supreme Court now has a clear conservative majority, and Roberts isn’t its figurehead. Perhaps Thomas wants that leadership role for himself? Only time will tell.

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