By Jay Rogers
Published September 1, 1991
U.S. Circuit Judge Clarence Thomas has been nominated to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Thomas was born in segregated poverty in Georgia in 1948. He was raised by his maternal grandparents. Clarence’s story is one of hard work, honesty, dedication, and the will to achieve anything no matter what the circumstances.
Jet magazine epitomized Thomas’ story: “The hope that he now offers all those who struggle to make something of themselves is his impressive story of the hope that enabled him to rise from poverty to the Supreme Court.”
Judge Thomas described his background in 1987: “God was central. School, discipline, hard work, and knowing right from wrong were of the highest priority.” Thomas now attends a charismatic Episcopal church. From his humble beginnings, his story has been one of a triumph of faith over adversity.
“The reason I became a lawyer,” said Thomas, “was to make sure that minorities, individuals who did not have access to this society, gained access. Now I may differ as to how best to do that, but the objective has always been to include those who have been excluded.”
Thomas’ nomination comes at a time when the Supreme Court appointments have been highly politicized. Our nation has been polarized into two groups:
1. Those who believe that the United States Constitution is law; and should be interpreted according to its original intent.
2. Those who believe that the Constitution is subject to any interpretation and would use it to further their political objectives.
Thomas clearly falls into the first category; his past references to the “natural law” and his commitment to judicial restraint attests to this fact. There is a campaign brewing which seeks to discredit every Court nominee who adheres to the idea of “Original Intent.” But there is something larger at stake here: Who controls the courts? Who controls the United States Constitution? The two political parties of the U.S. are becoming increasingly polarized on this issue.
We are now facing the increasing politicization of our culture which includes our educational institutions and our courts. There are only two sides to this issue. Either the Constitution is fixed and applicable only when the principles laid down by those who ratified the Constitution are adhered to; or, it is a malleable document which can be interpreted by justices to fit the desires of special interest groups.
There is a struggle between these two groups on Constitutional law. It is being waged in the law schools where our future judges are being trained. Many law schools are becoming politicized. Today in the major law schools, the political view of judging – the one which curries the favor of party politics – is clearly ahead. The notion that the Constitution is law has been discredited.
But the political attitudes of university faculty at these law schools and those of the American public have never been further apart. This led William Buckley to write: “I would rather be governed by the first 200 names in the Boston phone book, than by the Harvard faculty.” The professors of these law schools are urging courts on toward greater liberalization in interpreting the Constitution without regard to its historical meaning.
As a consequence, the Supreme Court has approved reverse racial discrimination under a statute which clearly forbids it; they have managed to find a Constitutional “right to abortion” without clearly explaining how they found this idea; they have come within one vote of finding a Constitutional right of homosexual conduct. For a time the Supreme Court even abolished the death penalty, although the Constitution explicitly assumes that the death penalty is available to a legislature should they care to use it.
The point to be made here is that the Constitution does not require that anyone be politically opposed to any of these rulings, but that these are political questions – and should be for the people and their political representatives to ponder and decide – and not for judges.
The underlying issue here has to do with individual liberty. When the courts depart from Constitutional statutes to create new rights, they subtract from individual liberty and never add to it. Among our Constitutional freedoms is the right to govern ourselves democratically (ie; only through individual vote and elected representatives) – unless the Constitution contradicts public opinion.
If a situation arises in which the Constitution is out of sync with public opinion, then the American people may amend the Constitution or even do away with it. However, this is a decision for the American people themselves and not for appointed Supreme Court Justices.
This is the underlying nature of the battle over the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the public campaign has been masked by a blitz of negative advertising against Judge Thomas on radio, television, newspapers, and phone banks. This campaign has consisted chiefly of falsehoods and misconstrued actions and statements by Thomas.
Those who would politicize the Supreme Court (university law professors and liberal Democrats) have made the claim that constructionists – such as Judge Thomas – are “outside the mainstream” of American politics. To the contrary, it is those who seek to define the American mainstream who would politicize the Supreme Court. These same people stand even more to lose if the Supreme Court were politicized to the right – rather than toward their leftist goals.
Clarence Thomas represents a man who has every reason to support minority rights and many other liberal causes. Yet Thomas understands that the role of a Judge is to interpret the law (namely, the U.S. Constitution) and defend the rights outlined therein. But a Judge’s role is never to legislate; this belongs to the people and their democratically elected representatives.
One of the unfortunate outcomes of appointing a conservative African-American to the Supreme Court has been the numerous undeserved slurs which have lambasted Judge Thomas. His otherwise exemplary character has been besmirched by ignorance and unqualified criticism.
Patricia Ireland, Executive Vice President of the National Organization of Women, fearing that Thomas’ nomination would overturn the 1973 ruling on Roe vs. Wade, exclaimed: “We’re going to Bork him!” – referring to the defeat of Judge Robert Bork in 1987.
Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder, in an equally reprehensible attack, questioned Thomas’ qualifications by saying: “The question is: How much allegiance is there to the Pope?” Although he once attended a Catholic elementary school, Thomas is an Episcopalian.
Editor’s Note: As of the printing of this article, we believed that Judge Thomas would receive a positive recommendation by the Senate Judiciary committee, and later the required confirmation vote by the Senate. However, we understood that it was possible (knowing the highly politicized nature of recent Court appointments) that Thomas would be rejected.
We would then look to a battle of ideas which would be extended into the 1992 elections. This would be an unfortunate development for the Democratic Party: if Democratic Senators oppose Thomas, they would run the risk of seeming anti-Black and would lose popular support. The Bush administration would nevertheless appoint a strict constructionist to the Court bench before the 1992 election – whether the Judge be Black, Hispanic, Asian, White, male or female. The confirmation hearings will be a triumph for the Constitutional rights of all people according to a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » National Events
Your comments are welcome!
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)