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Thomas Hurts Black Judge’s Prospects

From an irony-proof Washington Post:

Supreme Court Prospect Has Unlikely Ally

Friendship With Thomas May Complicate Chances for Left-Leaning Georgia Judge

By Krissah Thompson
Sunday, May 10, 2009

One day in the early 1990s, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas telephoned Leah Ward Sears to introduce himself. She was a rising star in Georgia’s legal community, a relatively liberal black woman on the state’s conservative Supreme Court. Thomas had read about political attacks against Sears and called to say he didn’t like it…

Many years after that phone call, the friendship that has endured makes for one of the more intriguing subplots of President Obama’s upcoming decision. In naming Souter’s replacement, Obama is likely to choose a liberal jurist. Some in the civil rights community are hoping that person will be an African American, such as Sears, to soothe the lingering bitterness over the appointment of Thomas, a conservative who is the court’s only black justice.

But if the choice does turn out to be Sears, the nation’s first black president would be nominating someone whose closest friend on the court is the very person civil rights activists have accused of failing to represent African Americans’ interests.

Sears’s relationship with Thomas is anchored in their home towns in southeastern Georgia and the rough roads they both took to the top levels of the American judiciary. Sears, 53, has been called a liberal, activist judge by conservatives who ran hard against her. Thomas, 60, has been accused by African Americans of betraying them with his conservative views. They have both spent their careers beating back critics.

"He holds her in the highest respect," said Orion Douglass, a judge from Savannah who serves on the State Court of Glynn County and has known Thomas and Sears since they were youngsters.

Sears grew up in Savannah. Thomas was reared 11 miles away in Pin Point. Her family was middle class; his, poor. But in those days, families knew families, Douglass said. Thomas and Sears had mutual friends but did not befriend each other until he made the call. Theirs is one of the few lasting bonds Thomas has in the black legal community because his conservative opinions on issues such as voting rights, affirmative action and the power of the federal government to correct injustices have left him alienated by many.

The old lions of the civil rights movement in Georgia and elsewhere have never accepted Thomas as heir to the late Justice Thurgood Marshall’s seat and legacy. Since joining the court in 1991, Thomas has been the subject of their protests, distrust and disparagement. They want Obama to select a black justice who is more progressive.

Sears, who was the first black woman to serve as chief justice of any state supreme court, has been more popular with them. She calls herself a "moderate with a progressive streak," and during her 17 years on the Georgia Supreme Court, she has sided with opinions that overturned the state’s anti-sodomy law, which targeted gays, and criticized use of the electric chair as cruel and unusual punishment, rulings popular with the civil rights community.

Four years ago, Thomas was about the only conservative celebrating her rise to chief justice along with Atlanta’s cadre of civil rights veterans, and it made for some discomfort. The Rev. Joseph Lowery, the longtime leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, quickly called Sears to congratulate her but also let her know that he would not attend her swearing-in because Thomas would be there.

"I was a little disappointed," Lowery said.

State Rep. Tyrone Brooks, president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, also begged off. "I would have been a hypocrite to go up there, skin and grin, smile and shake hands," he said. His deep disdain for Thomas trumped pride in Sears’s accomplishment. "[I] don’t think we have any black people on the Supreme Court. It’s not just the pigmentation of skin. It is philosophy, and even though Justice Thomas has our skin, he really does not vote the way African Americans would have him vote."

Another textbook example of the famed ‘liberal tolerance.’

And remember, it’s the right that practices ‘guilt by association’ and ‘McCarthyism.’

"[I] don’t think we have any black people on the Supreme Court. It’s not just the pigmentation of skin. It is philosophy, and even though Justice Thomas has our skin, he really does not vote the way African Americans would have him vote."

And it is the right who have all the racists.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, May 10th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “Thomas Hurts Black Judge’s Prospects”

  1. catie says:

    I am sick and tired of hearing about how tolerant the liberals are. They are not and once again it shows that conservatives are the more tolerant ones. I just don’t know how they continue to get away with this but they do.

  2. TwilightZoned says:

    “Sears grew up in Savannah.”

    That’s comforting. Savannah, GA is a very closed community to anyone who hasn’t been born and grew up there for both whites and blacks. When the blacks won the elections and ran the city a number of years ago, the state had to be called in to straighten things out due to big time corruption. (allowing all sorts of favors to friends, family, and their kind in general)

    “The Rev. Joseph Lowery, the longtime leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, quickly called Sears to congratulate her but also let her know that he would not attend her swearing-in because Thomas would be there.”

    That’s real Christian of him. Another one with Jeremiah Wright’s Christian views no doubt.

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    Is hypocrite and racist a two-fer? Just askin’ ya’ know.

  4. beautyofreason says:

    The Democratic Party will only select a black person for being black if they are proven ideological lap dogs of the left. Frolicking with a conservative black man is the liberal equivalent of treason.

    “”[I] don’t think we have any black people on the Supreme Court. It’s not just the pigmentation of skin. It is philosophy”

    Hmm, that reminds me of something similar I once heard:

    “You will be assimilated. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile.”

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    Does anyone here see a coke can ………. anywhere around?

  6. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Clarence Thomas hasn’t betrayed the black community, but rather they have in regards to the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr. They refuse to accept Dr. King’s belief that a man should be judged by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. The black community will never move forward and achieve greatness until they get rid of their cult of victim hood and throw out all the race baiting idiots like Sharpton, Jackson, etc. As for liberal tolerance, ha! What a joke. I’ve yet to meet a single dyed in the wool liberal who wasn’t intolerant if you disagreed with their views.

  7. BillK says:

    Because of course it isn’t racism for liberals to think that Thomas “doesn’t vote the way African-Americans would want him to.”

    It’s only racism to believe all members of a race think the same way when it’s not a liberal saying it, naturally.

  8. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Lessee here, we have an angry white b___ch for house speaker…an angry white b___ch for secretary of state….seems only fitting to have an angry black b___ch as a supreme court justice. After all, that would be FAIR and BALANCED, no?

  9. Gila Monster says:

    “In naming Souter’s replacement, Obama is likely to choose a liberal jurist.”

    The deductive reasoning of that statement simply astounds me, such clarity of thought…..

    “But if the choice does turn out to be Sears, the nation’s first black president would be nominating someone whose closest friend on the court is the very person civil rights activists have accused of failing to represent African Americans’ interests.”

    Another view into the workings of the liberal mind. They want a Justice to “represent” their interests. The advancement of the liberal agenda by judicial fiat is first and foremost in their minds since their agenda usually fails during the normal legislative process.

    News-flash for Krissah Thompson, SCOTUS Justices are not supposed to “represent” interests, they’re there to interpret and apply the rule of law as this Nation’s highest court, nothing more, nothing less.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Barry isn’t going to let a little thing like “LAW” stand in his way of trashing the Constitution and implementing his Socialist Agenda against America!!

  10. wardmama4 says:

    I am hoping and praying that The One ™ gets a ‘liberal’ David Souter – as turnabout is fair play and in this case most deserved.

    I can not believe (or really I should not be surprised) at the immature and petty attitude of these people to refuse to be seen and supportive of someone they ‘claim’ as a friend/associate simply because she is exemplifying the ideals and beliefs that they always proclaim they hold dear.

    What a bunch of lying, two-faced scum.


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