Jeffrey Toobin Dismisses Originalism with Usual Clichés

In the current issue of the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin takes stock of Justice Clarence Thomas's two decades on the high court.  The article is ostensibly about how Justice Thomas and his wife Virginia may succeed in shutting down ObamaCare at the constitutional level.  Walter Russell Mead and Rush Limbaugh have interpreted the piece as a warning to liberals that it is time to abandon the caricature of Thomas -- who now poses a lethal threat to their political ends -- as an unqualified intellectual lightweight.  (As a law student on a job interview, I remember a partner at a major New York law firm casually demeaning Justice Thomas's jurisprudence: "Scalia says 'X'; Thomas says 'me too.'") Commendably, Toobin cites numerous law professors who have praised Justice Thomas's intellectual rigor and philosophical consistency.  Toobin also notes that Thomas, not Scalia (as is widely thought) has been the driving force propelling the Supreme Court to an originalist...(Read Full Post)