Getting it Wrong About 'Getting it Right': The Remarkable Lavish Praise by Justices Thomas and Scalia of Radical Liberal Judicial Activists

Posted: 11 Jun 2013

Date Written: June 10, 2013


On television, Justices Thomas and Scalia have proclaimed ALL their colleagues to be, “very good people … honest [and] fair … try[ing] to get it right,” and make the Supreme Court “work." Justice Kagan was called a “delight." Ginsburg, although having, “some very bad ideas,” was singled out as “very good” and, indeed, “fabulous; one who makes all of us better judges."

This frequent off-the-cuff “lavish” public praise is unwarranted on the merits, grossly misleading the public regarding what justices actually have done and how that should be evaluated.

Above all, the oral praise by Thomas and Scalia is refuted by their own considered written words in Court opinions.

Repeatedly, they have questioned the integrity of their colleagues; and accused them of arrogance, lawlessness, license, illegitimate abuse of power, basing decisions on no more than their own personal values, contempt for the Constitution, sowing confusion rather than providing clarity, hypocritically pretending to defend the weak against the powerful, while actually favoring the powerful at the expense of the weak, protecting “inconsequential” expression while disdaining the “heart” of the First Amendment (the right to criticize officeholders), poisonous and pernicious racism and sexism, belief in black inferiority, jeopardizing the lives of good innocent people in order to save the lives of the most vicious and depraved, placing the welfare of terrorists above the lives of soldiers combating them, mandating “infanticide” (the barbaric killing of “human children”), and numerous other sins.

These are very strange criteria for, “good … honest … fabulous,” justices.

If it is unrealistic to expect Thomas and Scalia to criticize sharply in public those with whom they must work, surely cordial interpersonal working relationships do not require going to the opposite extreme. Even if it would be inappropriate to be publicly negative about other justices, there is certainly no reason to give lay people the impression that rabid leftist judicial ideologues are fantastic rather than destructive. This can only lend legitimacy to and respect for the judicial arrogance, dishonesty, and abuse of power against which Scalia and Thomas repeatedly have protested in writing. In turn, this is a grave disservice to the cause of constitutional government to which they have been so otherwise tirelessly dedicated.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, affirmative action, hypocrisy, interpretation, torture, dishonesty, capital punishment, death penalty, victims, rape, murder, perversity

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K40, K41, K42, J58

Suggested Citation

Jackson, Lester, Getting it Wrong About 'Getting it Right': The Remarkable Lavish Praise by Justices Thomas and Scalia of Radical Liberal Judicial Activists (June 10, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics