Appearing on MSNBC's "Way Too Early" to discuss what Americans can expect from the next Supreme Court session in October after a series of conservative -- and highly controversial rulings -- Axios founder Mike Allen told host Jonathan Lemire that longtime Justice Clarence Thomas will be the effective leader of the court as Chief Justice is shunted to the side by the conservative majority.
Discussing a post-July 4th article at Axios that notes that the court with its five far-right justices who no longer need the more moderate Roberts vote will run roughshod over the executive branch, Allen explained that Thomas will have undue influence over the ruling due to his seniority.
"We heard about voting rights coming under the Supreme Court scrutiny," host Lemire began. "You can broaden that to the executive branch and federal power. Why this matters is that, when the Supreme Court constrains federal power, it can be difficult or impossible to do."
"The federal government is likely to be able to do fewer things than it can now," Lemire went on. "As it should always be pointed out, five of the Supreme Court justices currently on the bench were appointed by Republican presidents who lost the popular vote. One, though, Clarence Thomas, he was appointed by [president] George H.W. Bush who, of course, did win the popular vote in 1988. Axios writes he is now at the peak of his powers; now the, quote, 'main character at the Supreme Court.' Tell us why."
"What's interesting about that, is, in addition to his obvious monumental tectonic effect on American law, he's also at the peak of his power inside the court," the Axios co-founder stated. "So Clarence Thomas is playing the long game. That is, if you take his opinions and his dissents together, they're not random points about particular cases."
"Over the years, he's formed what Sam Baker at Axios calls his own body of law; his own precedence," he continued. "Except it is one man, one justice speaking for himself. Here's an incredible fact in Sam Baker's story. That is, in the one person abortion comments that Thomas made, he cited 11 of his own precedents."
"Here's another quirk about his muscle inside the court," he elaborated. "The senior justice, the longest-serving justice on the winning side gets to assign the writing of the opinion. Thomas can assign -- if Chief Justice Roberts is not in the majority -- Clarence Thomas can assign it to himself, or he can assign it to whichever justice he thinks would most likely reflect his views but also keep the majority."
Watch the video below or at this link.
MSNBC 07 05 2022 05 55 23 youtu.be