Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ contagious laughter was heard as a TMZ reporter caught him getting into a car. He joked with the interviewer telling him he was a funny guy, asking him if he just stood around photobombing people.
The justice told the aspiring journalist he was just kidding and that he cracked him up. The TMZ reporter told Thomas that he loved his work. The legendary justice asked the guy if he went to NYU and they discussed his sister attending the school.
Thomas broke into laughter again when the reporter said they look for interesting people and then asked him what he had to eat. The justice kept on laughing as he got in and drove away.
He is famously known for maintaining stoic silence while sitting on the high court. But lately, Thomas has been a lot more vocal and the interchange with the reporter was endearing to many. He was even referred to as a “national treasure” and as one of the best Supreme Court justices of all time on Twitter.
Clarence Thomas is awesome. pic.twitter.com/kTCFDUsIaP
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) May 28, 2021
Justice Thomas recently did a documentary that detailed his achievements as he rose from poverty to a seat on America’s highest court. It was showcased in February during Black History month but the film was soon pulled by Amazon and he was effectively “canceled” allegedly over his political views.
Michael Pack, who is the director of the documentary “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” stated that Amazon gave no explanation for the move. “Our distributor, who’s the one who made the deal with Amazon, has repeatedly asked them for explanations but they haven’t given any,” he remarked.
The film, which aired on PBS last year and is no longer available for viewing, featured numerous interviews with Justice Thomas where he expressed his thoughts on various issues, including race. At one point, it was reportedly the No. 1 documentary on Amazon.
Justice Thomas is now 72 and is considered by many the most conservative constitutionalist justice on the bench. He is an originalist.
Currently, conservatives hold a 6 to 3 majority in the Supreme Court which means that even if Chief Justice John Roberts sides with liberals on a given issue it won’t be enough to stop a conservative ruling. Since Thomas has seniority, he would get to write the majority opinion as well. That gives incentive to Roberts to side with conservatives on the court. It may be good to be Chief Justice, but in this case, it may be even better to be Clarence Thomas.
He is deeply skeptical of the notion of “stare decisis” which is legalese for “stand by the thing decided and not disturb the calm.” That contention reflects the sentiment that precedent and accumulated opinions should hold sway over the law. Thomas believes in following the Constitution instead of potentially flawed opinions and rulings that are compounded by liberal sentiment over time.
Thomas’ status on the court is about to reverberate in numerous areas including abortion, gun rights, affirmative action, and election law.
“Because the Federal Constitution, not state constitutions, gives state legislatures authority to regulate federal elections, petitioners presented a strong argument that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision violated the Constitution by overriding the clearly expressed intent of the legislature,” Thomas wrote previously concerning election law. Experts contend that if a majority adopts that position it could possibly have a fundamental impact on the power of state courts to have the final word concerning states’ voting rules.
Thomas noted that it was “fortunate” that the decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court “does not appear to have changed the outcome in any federal election” but contended that “we may not be so lucky in the future.” He seemed to give credence to former President Trump’s assertions of election fraud. “For one thing,” Thomas wrote, “as election administrators have long agreed, the risk of fraud is vastly more prevalent for mail-in ballots.”
It would seem that it is indeed possible for constitutional conservatism and humor to go hand in hand, especially when it comes to Justice Thomas Clarence.
Twitter loved Thomas’ laughter as his name and legacy trended for hours:
Honestly never knew how much I liked Justice Thomas. So you just go around bothering people? 😂
— Kyle Cooley (@kylecooley) May 28, 2021
He’s the favorite Justice of every law student. Opinions are short, sweet and to the point.
— David Monroe (@TheDavidMonroe) May 28, 2021
Dudes got a good laugh.
— JM (@bulletfriendly) May 28, 2021
"I'd rather die than withdraw. If they're going to kill me, they're going to kill me."
One of the most important and iconic moments of Justice Thomas's confirmation. It was a signal to the world that you should never let bullies win.
— Retired Orrin G. Hatch (@RetiredOrrin) May 28, 2021
— redacted (@verstappf1) May 28, 2021
My favourite Supreme Court Justice.
— Darrin White (@DarrinW74512672) May 28, 2021
— Christopher Rodriguez (@CDotRodriguez) May 28, 2021
All you ever see is the grumpy looking old man but that’s a guy I’d love to have a beer with regardless of if you agree with his opinions!! pic.twitter.com/3VMOegaDXT
— Jim mittlestat (@Mittlestater) May 28, 2021
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