The greatest Supreme Court justice of our era—quite possibly, of any of them.
In his farewell address, President Ronald Reagan recalled a Vietnamese refugee who upon leaving his leaky boat for the American rescue ship, yelled out, “Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man.”
That image of American military power in the cause of justice is replicated in the stormy seas raised by administrative state today: our “freedom man” is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Reagan appointed “freedom man” to his first executive branch positions back in 1981 and 1982, first to the Department of Education and then to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where he was chairman. I had the honor to work for Thomas as a special assistant at the EEOC from 1986 to 1990, when President George H. W. Bush appointed him to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Bush subsequently nominated him for the Supreme Court, where he has served for 28 years. In each position Thomas expanded freedom to the extent his circumstances permitted him.
His latest Supreme Court opinions display his view of freedom in abundance. Out of a tangle of facts and precedent, Thomas has the genius to spot the principle that will allow him to protect and foster fundamental freedoms.
Best of all, he actually gives a damn about such arcane and outmoded things. No wonder the Left hates him so much, and pulled out all the stops to prevent his elevation to the Court; all too often, his stubborn wisdom and refusal to bend a knee to expediency, politics, and popular opinion has been literally all that stood between us and total subjugation. If only he had been made Chief Justice, instead of the faithless weasel Roberts.