A Humble Justice: Rethinking the 'Cruelty' of Justice Clarence Thomas

127 Yale L.J. F. 196 (2017)

18 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2017 Last revised: 15 Oct 2018

Date Written: August 2, 2017


Media and scholarly critics often claim that Justice Thomas's criminal law opinions reflect intentional cruelty or callousness, and dismiss his opinions without engaging seriously with their substance.

This Essay contends that judicial humility is a far more plausible explanation for Justice Thomas's criminal case decisions. If observers recognize that his approach to the law is guided by humility, rather than his own cruel or callous views, they will be more likely to consider the substance of his opinions and will benefit from wrestling with his challenging jurisprudential and historical perspective - even if they do not agree with the conclusions to which it leads.

Keywords: Justice Thomas, Criminal Law, Jurisprudence, Originalism, Humility, Deference, Catholic

Suggested Citation

McLeod, Marah, A Humble Justice: Rethinking the 'Cruelty' of Justice Clarence Thomas (August 2, 2017). 127 Yale L.J. F. 196 (2017), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3026406

Marah McLeod (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States
3127713448 (Phone)
3127713448 (Fax)

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