Justice Clarence Thomas dragged on Twitter for election case dissent

by Deon Osborne, Associate Editor
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Twitter dissent

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas / Via Biography.com

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the conservative and only Black member, is facing backlash—again. Twitter users came for Justice Thomas after he disagreed with his colleagues’ decision to ignore a dispute over absentee ballots in Pennsylvania during the 2020 presidential election.

Republicans, motivated by Trump’s accusations of widespread election fraud, had brought a lawsuit against Pennsylvania to the Supreme Court. It charged that the state Supreme court didn’t have the authority to extend the deadline for turning in absentee ballots. The lawsuit alleged that since state legislatures hold all power to determine election laws, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made an unconstitutional pandemic-inspired decision to extend the deadline for absentee ballots an extra three days.

Four justices would have needed to vote to hear the case for it to move forward, but only three did—Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas. 

 

Still, even if the Supreme Court were to throw out all of Pennsylvania’s absentee ballots turned in during those extended days, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome in the Electoral College. Joe Biden won Pennsylvania with 80,555 more votes, with only 10,000 of them counted during the extended week. 

But Thomas, whose wife cheered on Trump supporters at the Stop the Steal rally hours before it became violent, wanted to make his opinion known.

“That decision to rewrite the rules seems to have affected too few ballots to change the outcome of any federal election. But that may not be the case in the future,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his dissent. 

 

Democrats and Republicans clashed in the state for months leading up to the election over whether limits imposed by the Coronavirus would hinder Americans’ constitutional right to cast a ballot. In a 4-3 decision, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of Democrats’ arguments, citing the need to extend the deadline in order to ensure free and fair elections.

Ultimately, the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court ruled the case moot, dealing a death blow to the GOP’s swarm of election-related lawsuits.

Arguing that Trump supporters faced “irreparable harm” due to Pennsylvania’s decision, Thomas claimed the decision not to hear the case opens up the door for widespread fraud in future elections. “If state officials have the authority they have claimed, we need to make it clear,” Thomas dissented. “If not, we need to put an end to this practice now before the consequences become catastrophic.”

 

But many on Twitter weren’t having it. “There are clear rules, which were followed. The insurrection failed.” One user on Twitter wrote, responding to a thread from a Politico reporter.

 

A few tweets were supportive of Thomas, with a user writing “SCOTUS not hearing that case is a stain on the Court’s history and should be recognized as such. No other venue could have heard that case and SCOTUS dismissing it on standing is one of the great tragedies of our time.”

But the majority of social media users’ attitudes toward Thomas’s dissent could be summed up in a tweet calling out his wife. It also put respect on the name of Anita Hill, a former aid of Thomas who famously accused him of sexual misconduct in his Confirmation hearing in the ‘90s.

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Trump and the GOP will have one more chance to challenge state election outcomes, this time in Wisconsin, when the Supreme Court hears the case in a closed-door meeting on March 5.

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3 comments

Greg Knell February 22, 2021 - 9:27 pm

The idea that modifications of regulatory rules to carry out an election, new policies which conformed to the Constitution as interpreted by the PA supreme Court, these regulations can only be implemented by Constitutional Amendment is an incorrect interpretation of the law. These were executive revisions allowing postmark dates to count and expanding existing vote by mail, the already allowed absentee voting, fit well under the existing Constitutional law. This is what the Supreme Court ruled. Nothing to see here. Thomas didn’t say these regulations were wrong or unconstitutional he just said he’d wanted to hear it and rule them ok so it would be clearly settled law.
This also begs the question why Thomas didn’t recuse himself when his wife was a key agitator behind the attack on the Capitol building. Clearly he was biased by already supporting “Stop the Steal” and had no business ruling on election legality.

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Susan February 23, 2021 - 9:03 am

He’s being dragged on Twitter because most conservatives accounts have been banned . The crazy libs have taken over the platform.

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Greg Knell February 23, 2021 - 12:06 pm

No Conservatives have been banned from Twitter. False statements have been banned left and right. All real conservative thought such as National Review remain. Sorry but you just can’t make stuff up like Democrats traffic in and eat children. Most outright lies come from the right and that is what has been banned, not conservative ideas. Even this post above is a blatant lie. Only outright falsehoods are banned.
This is similar to the fraudulent charities the Tea Party set up then claimed the IRS was persecuting Conservatives when all they were doing was enforcing the law against getting tax free status fir political actions which is clearly illegal but again was twisted by lies to be politically discrimination. Just try telling the truth once and a while! Windmills did not cause the collapse of Texas natural gas plants or the insane price gouging by Republican energy speculators. Tell the truth. What a concept!

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