Monday, August 09, 2004

Another Reason to Elevate Justice Thomas

Jonathan Ringel, writing at, notes this "bombshell" in a recent biography of Justice Clarence Thomas:
Thomas, says [Justice Antonin] Scalia, "doesn't believe in stare decisis, period."

"If a constitutional line of authority is wrong, he would say let's get it right," says Scalia. "I wouldn't do that."
Right. And neither would most judges. So what if Social Security is unconstitutional -- to take but one example -- and a big ripoff, to boot? Let's just leave the ripoff in place.

Anyway, it's nice to know that a prospective chief justice has the right stance on stare decisis. When judges get it wrong, their successors should get it right, just as the Michigan Supreme Court did recently in reversing a 23-year old precedent that had enabled municipal governments to seize private land and give it to other private users.

(Thanks to Freespace for the tip.)