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Obama says he would not have tapped Clarence Thomas for Supreme Court

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(AP photo. Obama and Warren)

Presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)--the first African American with a chance of becoming president--said Saturday he would not have appointed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas--the second black on the nation's highest court.

"I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas," Obama said in response to a question from Saddleback Church Pastor Rich Warren about which existing justice he would not have nominated. "I don't think he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation."

Obama and rival Sen. John McCain (R-Az.) are making back-to-back appearances at Saddleback, in Lake Forest, Calif. for questioning by one of the country's most famous evangelists.

Obama--who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago--also said he would not have appointed Justice Antonin Scalia "because he and I just disagree." Obama noted that Scalia also was at the U of C. Scalia was a professor of law there from 1977 to 1982.


Thomas is the only African American on the Supreme Court at present and only the second to serve (the first African American was Justice Thurgood Marshall). He was nominated by President George H.W. Bush--the father of the current president--and is know as one of the courts most conservative members.


Official Thomas Biography
source: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/about/biographiescurrent.pdf

Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice, was born in the Pin Point community of Georgia
near Savannah June 23, 1948. He married Virginia Lamp in 1987 and has one child, Jamal Adeen, by a previous marriage. He attended Conception Seminary and received an A.B., cum laude, from Holy Cross College, and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974. He was admitted to law practice in Missouri in 1974, and served as an Assistant Attorney General of Missouri from 1974-1977, an attorney with the Monsanto Company from 1977-1979, and
Legislative Assistant to Senator John Danforth from 1979-1981. From 1981-1982, he
served as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, and as
Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1982-1990. He
became a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
in 1990. President Bush nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat October 23, 1991.

13 Comments

ONLY A REPUBLICAN WOULD HAVE CHOSEN CLARENCE
THOMAS, HE COULDN'T CARRY THURGOOD MARSHALL'S
BRIEFCASE!

For Barrack Obama to critize Clarence Thomas' nomination on grounds that Clarence Thomas lacked experience is truly ironic. Clearly Clarence Thomas had just as much experience as Obama does.

Obama joked about abortion with his "Above My Pay Grade" comment.

Not only is Obama seriously lacking on experience, his lack of judgment also shines through.

The main stream media is trying to influence this election by not asking the hard and difficult questions. Questions which are clearly NOT above the pay grade of the highest office in the land. Last night's debate was the first instance where the public had the opportunity to glimpse Obama's underlying values. It is truly ironic that it took a preacher to ask the questions the main stream media refuses to ask.

I agree with Senator Obama that Clarence Thomas did not have the experience to be named to the United States Supreme Court.

I also believe that Barack Obama does not have the necessary experience to be the President of the United States.

His claim to that position is based on one speech that he gave prior to the invasion of Iraq. That speech is not enough to make him President.

He should return to the Senate and build a record that will make the American people believe and trust him to be President.

And yet Obama agrees with Thomas on the 2nd Amendment case and the death penalty for child rapists. And I bet he agrees with him on others like the cross burning matter. Of course they disagree on extending hc rights the enemies we capture.

Here's Mr. Smooth Talker's actual quote:

Barack Obama: [audience laughter] “That’s a good one. That’s a good one. Um. Uh, I would not have nominated, uh, Clarence Thomas. [applause from audience] Uh. I don’t think that he, uh, uh, uh, I, I, I, I don’t think that he was an exper, uh, a strong enough jurist or legal thinker, uh, at the time, uh, for that elevation, setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretations of a lot of the Constitution."

I agree that you need experience for these important jobs.

Senator Obama should step aside and allow Senator Clinton to be the nominee of the Democratic Party as she has the experience and knowledge to be President.

He could run as her Vice-Presidential nominee and obtain the experience that he is currently lacking.

An 'uh' in speech merely means a person is contemplating their choice of words carefully.
And Pat H.---he's the next prez. Hillary no longer wants it. She didn't even want the vote to occur, turns out.

I LOVE YOU GUYS, HERE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE THOMAS AND YOU GUYS TWIST
IT FOR YOUR PLEASURE!
ONE THING YOU FORGET, A PERSON CANNOT BE PRESIDENT
LONGER THAN 8 YEARS, JUDGE THOMAS HAS A POSITION
FOR LIFE, THAT IS TO MUCH POWER FOR A GUY LIKE
THOMAS TO HAVE, WHEN AT THE TIME HE HAD A PROBLEM
WITH HIS CHARACTER AND HE WASN'T EXPERIENCED
ENOUGH TO BE NOMINATED FOR THE JOB!
THE REPUBLICAN'S KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING, NOW
THEY HAVE A GUY THAT IS A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE
THAT GOES TO UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA FOOTBALL
GAMES EVERY SATURDAY!
JUDGE THOMAS IS AS SILENT AS A CHURCH MOUSE!
IF MCCAIN IS MORE EXPERIENCE THAN OBAMA HE SURE
DOESN'T ACT LIKE IT, BUT ONE THING ABOUT DEAR
JOHN HE PUTS HIS FOOT IN HIS MOUTH ONCE A WEEK
AND TOMMORROW IS MONDAY!

Barack had to have known his demeaning comments about Clarence Thomas would get back to him. So we can presume Barack intended to hurt conservatives but mostly to sting Thomas making it very personal. We can conclude this idea of unity is disingenuous also because if Barack was trying to reach out to those voters not yet in his camp he failed to do so with the words suggesting that Clarence Thomas, a conservative black man, was not only not prepared for the job, but not very smart as well. The answer would have been easy to pick one by giving some examples of the stark differences, or many as McCain did citing a general political difference. But instead he took the very low road and smacked a brother because that brother took a very different life path.

I DON'T THINK THE CONSERVATIVES REALLY GIVE A
HOOT ABOUT SILENCE OF THE LAMBS CLARENCE THOMAS!
HE IS JUST A PAWN IN THE GAME, THAT'S WHY HE
IS QUIET AS A CHURCH MOUSE!
ONCE UPON A TIME CLARENCE THOMAS STARTED THE
BLACK STUDENT UNION AT HOLY CROSS, THEN YEARS
LATER HE MARRIES RUSH LIMBAUGH AT HIS HOME!
WHAT A METAMORPHIS THIS GUY HAS GONE THROUGH!
THEN HE GAVE THAT LAME EXCUSE THAT WHEN HE
GRADUATED FROM YALE LAW SCHOOL, EVERYONE THOUGHT
HE GOT IN YALE BECAUSE OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION!
SO FROM THAT DAY HE WAS AGAINST AFFIRMATIVE
ACTION, WHAT A COMPLEX GUY HE TRUELY IS, HE ISN'T
COMFORTABLE IN HIS OWN SKIN, AND THAT IS A SHAME!

HEY KRISTIN BE CAREFUL, YOU CALLED CLARENCE
THOMAS A BLACK MAN, HE MIGHT GET OFFENDED BY
THAT REMARK!

I wonder how many have read My Grandfather's Son? I find the Justice Thomas a very interesting man. His book really does explain some of the complexities about the man. I don't see where he makes excuses for being black nor does he expect special treatment because he is black. I understand why Obama doesn't care for the man. I believe Clarence Thomas can see right through Obama for what he is...a politician who will say and do whatever it takes to get to where he wants to be. Thomas wants to help solve problems and does what he was appointed to the court system to do...analyze cases. If Obama doesn't like Thomas....I believe it has to do with Thomas's beliefs and that Thomas know the Constitution and believes in it. Also, the threat that if Roe vs. Wade comes around again for review, Thomas has said that he would not uphold it.

I am not interested in republican or democrat
but what the common good dictates-

and it dictates that the "Monsanto curse"
END. It will be the end of us and our progeny if we do not take our small farms back and our food back from this company.

This company has infected EPA, Supreme Court, Defense, Health, Congress, Senate, Presidency, FDA, the new FSA through its link with Greenberg, Delauro's new bill possibly and more than likely because the bill is doing the bidding of the company who is already bullying and tyrannically exploiting all farms- their clients and not- not just here in the US but in the world and it is our mess- we must stop the government links to this company and put behind the bars of justice those who have received its ill gotten booty in exchange for power in the legislature a breach in the public trust, and put the company to pay back those who have been slain in this illegit nightmare. If you don't believe my words do your own search and see how world wide this company has brought nothing but destruction for power and money and see how it will take possession of the food industry which is as bad as genocide especially when they would sue their own mother- danger is in the coming of those who have been loyal or been bought coming into Washington politics because then not one state is lost but the country and in this case is also lost the respect for us in the world for not disciplining this monster bratty off spring into its place- behind bars- many have died- that is murder- not a mutilnational- a multimurderer! Monsanto will be the end of us if we don't see, learn and act!
No more time for egos, for careers, for spending money, it is time to think of your children at home and do what they need for their futures- extinguish Monsanto NOW!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 16, 2008 7:28 PM.

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