Time and again, we have seen that neither precedent nor a perceived need to achieve consensus on the Court can hold Justice Clarence Thomas back from pronouncing what he has found to be the best understanding of the Constitution and federal statutes. His decisions scrape away at what Ralph Rossum has called the "excrescence" of flawed precedent,' no matter how deeply entrenched. He looks beyond the entrenchment to the Constitution and history. Not surprisingly, his administrative law decisions and his decisions directly interpreting the Constitution receive the most attention. But the Justice's deep commitment to not only thinking, but rethinking is also on display in the more prosaic criminal-law opinions I will discuss.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Stith, Kate, "No Entrenchment: Thomas on the Hobbs Act, the Ocasio Mess, and the Vagueness Doctrine" (2017). Faculty Scholarship Series. 5297.