August 6, 2010

It boggles my mind that the spouse of a Supreme Court justice can appear on Fox to opine on a decision that her husband will likely be hearing in the Supreme Court.

But no worries, because Thomas confidently declares toward the end of this clip that she "sees a different line between law and policy and knows other people in her house [do] too." She earnestly reassures Cavuto not once, but TWICE on this with regard to Proposition 8 and AB 1070.

I don't have the full transcript, but I did manage to catch some clips as they flew by while I was listening. The exchange about Proposition 8 and Arizona's AB 1070 begins at about 2:30, with Cavuto concern-trolling, but here's the lead-in to that exchange:

CAVUTO: Voters are angry...There is a disconnect between judges and politicians and the will of the people...

THOMAS: It's stunning, actually. I've never seen anything like the times that we're living in. It feels almost revolutionary, I'd say. So I'm glad Congress is going home, and has the spot light (brandishes large flashlight) out for town halls. People want to talk to them about the votes they've had and is showing them how to do that.

Let's have a bit of a history lesson. When FDR took office in 1932 and New Deal legislation was passed in his first 100 days, the only folks upset about it were the 1940s equivalent to teabaggers: The American Liberty League, funded and founded by members of the DuPont family and other wealthy elites who saw their power slipping away. With great fanfare they set out to challenge each and every initiative in the Supreme Court, and succeeded on enough significant initiatives that FDR considered the possibility of packing the Supreme Court. Ultimately, he did not do so, but there was enormous tension between the Court and the Executive, and also the people, who were jobless with no safety nets whatsoever.

Revolutionary, Ginni Thomas? Revolutionary in what way, exactly? Why didn't Neil Cavuto ask Ginni Thomas whether she believes slavery should have been subject to popular vote? After all, perhaps the Civil War could have been avoided that way and we could be a country of slaves and slave-owners. (Please note the deep sarcasm in that question).

Ginni Thomas herself is a beneficiary of court decisions with regard to discrimination, and of course, there's no way her husband would be a Supreme Court justice right now without those same court rulings. Yet, they were most assuredly NOT the will of the people.

Undeterred, Thomas rambles right on through those facts into her own reality:

CAVUTO: There's so many of these issues where either a judge or a politician overrides the will of the people or at least sentiment, you know, be it gay marriage in California, you know, the illegal immigration issue in Arizona. It's kicked to a court and a lot of these are heading to your husband's court.

From your vantage point -- nothing to say about the Supreme Court -- shouldn't they be resolved on a people level and the people themselves have kind of spoken on all of them?

THOMAS: Amen, Neil. Come to and join us. We are all about policy and what people can do in the public square. Once it hits a legal test it is a whole different thing. I see a different line between the law and policy and I know other people in my house do too.

Now the interesting thing about this discussion and Thomas' framing is that a similar discussion would have taken place in 1934, but it would have been between FDR and members of the press. FDR would have been frustrated by the American Liberty League's efforts to overturn things like minimum wage laws that gave people a decent working wage. And yet, he never would have called it revolutionary.

If there is one thing that stands out for me in this clip, it is hearing the wife of a Supreme Court justice speak with such disdain for the judiciary branch. In my opinion, it's unpatriotic, inflammatory, inappropriate, and just wrong.

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