The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas, 1991–2011, 2d ed.

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About the Book

In his twenty terms as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Clarence Thomas has written nearly 450 opinions. Although they are readily available to the American people, much of the public continues to base its view of Thomas merely on the reporting by the media. This analysis of Thomas’s most important majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions offers laypersons and legal professionals alike the opportunity to understand in his own words Thomas’s approach to constitutional decision-making and his understanding of the most important provisions of the Constitution. Thomas’s opinions, this work shows, reveal his consistent adherence to the core principles of federalism, separation of powers, and restrained judicial review, and to the regard for individual rights and limited government embodied by the Founders in the Constitution.

About the Author(s)

Henry Mark Holzer is professor emeritus at Brooklyn Law School. He lives in Palm Desert, California.

Bibliographic Details

Henry Mark Holzer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6334-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8975-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS      ix

INTRODUCTION      1

1. “We the People”: The Constitution of the United States      9

2. “Further declaratory and restrictive clauses”: The Bill of Rights      15

3. “Shall be vested in”: Separation of Powers      20

Sovereign Immunity      30

4. “The powers not delegated”: Federalism      32

Supremacy Clause      32

Preemption      34

Tenth Amendment      36

Commerce Clause      39

Necessary and Proper Clause      42

5. “One supreme Court”: Judicial Review      49

Original Jurisdiction      49

Judicial Restraint      51

Statutory Interpretation      59

Stare Decisis      63

Thomas and Scalia      65

6. “Congress shall make no law”: First Amendment      67

Establishment of Religion      67

Free Exercise of Religion      72

Freedom of Speech      73

Right of Association      92

Right of Petition      95

7. “Other enumerated rights”: Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments      97

Fourth Amendment      98

Fifth Amendment      100

Sixth Amendment      108

Eighth Amendment      114

8. “No State shall”: Fourteenth Amendment      130

Privileges or Immunities      130

Due Process of Law      136

Equal Protection of the Law      149

CONCLUSION      157

APPENDIX A. OPINIONS OF JUSTICE THOMAS      163

APPENDIX B. STATUTORY INTERPRETATION OPINIONS OF JUSTICE THOMAS      179

CHAPTER NOTES      191

INDEX      221

Book Reviews & Awards

Reviews of the first edition: “recommended”—Catholic Library World; “an eye-opening, must-read…important”—www.theconservativevoice.com; “definitive”—FrontPage Magazine.com; “provocative”—The Law and Politics Book Review; “captures all the essentials…indispensable…a magnificent work of scholarship…well-organized…thoroughly documented”—Perspective; “focuses exclusively on Thomas’ work on the Court, eschewing biographical details or pop psychoanalysis…a good reference work”—Engage; “offering fascinating insight on one of the Supreme Court’s most entertaining characters. This book is for anyone who would like to learn more about Clarence Thomas’ abridged opinions”—Reference & Research Book News. “Holzer’s accessible book recounts the story of a highly-principled, remarkably consistent justice who understands the importance of beginning interpretation of the Constitution from its language and the perspectives of those who wrote and ratified it.”—Professor Robert F. Turner, SJD, Co-Founder, Center for National Security, University of Virginia Law School.