A Humble Justice: Rethinking the 'Cruelty' of Justice Clarence Thomas
127 Yale L.J. F. 196 (2017)
Posted: 28 Aug 2017 Last revised: 18 Apr 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
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