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Justice Thomas Asks Question for First Time in 10 Years

And it’s a gun related case. You can see the transcript here.

JUSTICE THOMAS: Ms. Eisenstein, one question.

Can you give me ­­ — this is a misdemeanor violation. It suspends a constitutional right. Can you  give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?

 

MS. EISENSTEIN: Your Honor, I ­­ I’m thinking about that, but I think that the — the question is not — as I understand Your Honor’s question, the culpability necessarily of the act or in terms of the offense.

JUSTICE THOMAS: Well, I’m — I’m looking at the ­­ you’re saying that recklessness is sufficient to trigger a violation — misdemeanor violation of domestic conduct that results in a lifetime ban on possession of a gun, which, at least as of now, is still a constitutional right.

Emphasis mine. If you’re in a Super Tuesday state, please consider the future of the Second Amendment is riding on this election. I don’t care whether you pick Cruz or Rubio, but please God, we can’t have a nominee that doesn’t even understand how the courts work picking Scalia’s and probably three other replacements. Anybody but Trump!

66 Responses to “Justice Thomas Asks Question for First Time in 10 Years”

  1. Ollie says:

    I’m voting for Cruz tomorrow.

    • Archer says:

      I’ll be voting for Cruz, if he’s still in the running by the time Oregon’s primary comes around.

      We vote on May 17, so I imagine all the nominees will be officially picked by then — it’ll officially be a moot point — but I’m still rooting for Cruz.

      Trump is a disaster walking on two legs.

  2. RAH says:

    Not in Super Tuesday but for those I link short tidbit about Rubio position while in Fla is indicating he may be a squish

    http://www.texastribune.org/2016/02/29/after-texas-visit-cruz-targets-rubio-and-trump-gun/

    • Alpheus says:

      The calling of Cruz a liar by Trump and Rubio is beginning to grate on my nerves. The biggest reason, I think, is that they tend to call Cruz a liar when he digs up actual quotes and votes of their past positions….

      “Gah, Cruz is telling the truth about me! He’s a liar!”

  3. Matthew Carberry says:

    Super Tuesday Republican caucus here in Alaska. Voting for Cruz.

  4. K Remmert says:

    Anyone but Hillary

  5. Stephen says:

    That’s a scary article about Trump and his sister but I’m afraid he’s the best we’re going to do, unless there’s some kind of a miracle tomorrow. At least he’ll make bad choices out of stupidity rather than malice, and maybe one will end up being OK. I don’t think trying to setup SCOTUS to overthrow Roe v. Wade or Gay Marriage is a worthwhile venture so that part doesn’t bother me — just want to see the BOR actually respected (in particular the 2nd).

    Colorado is not having a straw vote as part of the caucus (didn’t want to “bind” reps for reasons I still don’t fully get), so I’m not even sure why it exists. I’d go (even though there’s no vote) but I’ve got some other family stuff I should be going and I don’t see any reason to sacrifice to (not) vote.

  6. dwb says:

    Strategically vote for Cruz or Rubio depending on who is running best in the polls. Switch your vote.

    That said, Rubio is by far the best general election candidate. Cruz runs about +1 vs Hillary but I am not sure he can walk back some rhetoric for the general election. My dream ticket would be Rubio for Prez, Cruz for Supreme Court, Nikki Haley as VP.

    • Ahnold says:

      exactly…That’s why I am supporting Rubio. He’s not my favorite candidate but he’s 10x better than anything coming out of the democratic side.

  7. Dave says:

    Whether you like him, hate him, or are somewhere in between, Trump is the anti-obama. He has the same cult of personality going for him that the zero did back in 2008. If you ever watched the tv show boston legal, Shatner’s character was portrayed very much like this. He would go into a room, proclaim “Denny Crane”…. and get his way.

    Trump is doing what Obama did and it’s working. Arguably better. He gives no position specifics. Worked for Zero, will work for Trump too. He plays to crowd “red meat” issues. Again, the recipe is already written by Obama, and just be followed with spicier ingredients by Trump.

    The only thing missing is a Trump trip to foreign countries to wow crowds and a preemptively issued Nobel Peace Prize

    The problem – if you can call it that – is that establishment squishes don’t want to let an outsider into their club, whereas Obama was already in the club. The remaining participants in the republican primary besides trump lack the charisma to generate crowd numbers even fractionally as good as Trump. They’re essentially zombies. Their campaigns are dead and just expending it’s last few breaths before the stillness sets in.

    Jeb was the presumptive nominee last year, everyone else was an also ran. But Trump worked social media hand over fist better than any other republican. he’s both exploited and confounded the drive by media for ages now and that is quite refreshing. I don’t like Trump, he’s not my ideal candidate, and as Cruz so eloquently pointed out – he’s from NY for fook’s sake…

    But the alternative is another Clinton presidency. One that will be far, far worse than anything you can imagine for gun owners. Trump is rude, crass, repetitive, arrogant, and winning. Also, he’s from NY, and that’s not part of America so he’s not eligible to be president.

    Nevertheless… he’s winning – for better or for worse.

    • ahnold says:

      He’s not winning when he matches up with Hillary. Trump is a general election loser. A vote for trump is a vote for Hillary plain and simple

      • Jeff says:

        “A vote for trump is a vote for Hillary plain and simple”

        I believe that was the point from the beginning.

        • ahnold says:

          “I believe that was the point from the beginning.”

          I tend to agree. This is trump helping out an old friend. The sad thing is most of the GOP primary voters are too F***ing stupid to see this.

          To me, the thing that matters the most is the party, not the individual. Even the most liberal republican is better than what is going to come out of the democratic primary in almost every case.

      • aerodawg says:

        hypothetical polling isn’t generally accurate this far out. lots of people give off the cuff answers that change once the actual choices are apparent and campaigning gets under way.

        Not that I like Trump. Far from it….

        • ahnold says:

          that’s true when the poll is head to head match-ups. The problem is that Trump is polled as un-likeable…which is also hillary’s weakness.

          • aerodawg says:

            Yes sir, do you prefer the criminal or flaming d-bag in the upcoming election?

            • ahnold says:

              I’d prefer trump any day over Hillary, the problam is the American electorate doesn’t agree. They prefer her over trump

  8. Ollie says:

    Trump is not winning in the general election. He’s so crooked, slimy and hypocritical, the media will destroy him (and he deserves it). He is the most hated of everyone running for president!

    The media is waiting for him to get the nomination before drowning him in his own slime.

  9. ahnold says:

    I’m voting for Rubio- not because I like him, but because he has the best statistical chance of beating Hillary. I don’t care that Cruz might be more conservative- anyone on the republican side is better than hillary. I want the candidate that has the best chance of beating her. The party is more important than the individual. The party is what ends up determining the ideology of judicial nominees.

    I would love to see Cruz as president, but I doubt that it will happen.

    • Texas carry says:

      “I would love to see Cruz as president, but I doubt that it will happen.”

      And wont happen if he is not voted for. I don’t let doubts get in the way of logic. I am voting for Cruz.

      • Ahnold says:

        then logic should tell you that the best candidate for beating hillary is rubio

        • Texas carry says:

          To that I will disagree. The establishment wants Rubio. He, like Trump can be dealt with. The establishment and the dems are not going to be able to deal with Cruz. They are deathly afraid of him and Cruz has a style that will take Hillary down before she can get started. Logic thus dictates that Cruz is absolutely the best man for the job and hands down beats the dems.

          • dwb says:

            “The establishment” only wants to hold on to the Senate, which is on thin ice since there are several swing state Republicans on the ballot. Cruz is too far right in a general election. Outside the south he has the appeal of a used bible salesman.

            I do agree though that Rubio needs to sound more populist and make it clear he will also give the middle finger to D.C. The best way to do that though is starve the beast and cut govt. Sharks go away when there is no more food.

  10. Don says:

    I’m a little disappointed that this post turned into a Bash Trump fest instead of discussing Justice Thomas’s remark, which I thought was on target(pun intended).
    Since that is the case, as Pentecostal Christians who are hard So-Cons, my wife and I love Trump, and despise Cruz and Rubio.
    Chronicles Magazine, which is not noted for liberalism, has a few articles up on why Trump is better: https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/the-trumpening-and-conservative-christians/

    And Pat Buchanan: https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/is-a-new-gop-being-born/

    And lastly, Dr. Clyde Wilson, who is as hard right as one can get: https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/a-vp-for-trump/
    I disagree with Senator Sessions on aerospace issues, but he would be a good VP.

    Note that pro gun but homosexual William Quick is a big Trump supporter, over at Daily Pundit. I don’t recall him being either a Nazi or a Bible Thumper.

    Not one comment on Justice Thomas…

    • Alpheus says:

      I honestly don’t care who likes Trump; I can’t stand him. And a very large reason for that is because while half of his statements are Conservative platitudes, half of them are Liberal platitudes. I’m convinced he’s a Democrat pretending to be a Republican just long enough so that he can get the Presidency.

      I am convinced that, in terms of policy, he’s just as bad as Hillary. I cannot support Trump for the Presidency.

      Having said that, I agree: I would like to have seen more about what Justice Thomas said. Even so, I understand why this has become a bash-Trump-fest: can we really trust Trump to choose people on the Supreme Court to defend the Second Amendment?

      • Publius says:

        You say liberal as if it’s a bad thing :'(

        • Jim Jones says:

          In the modern day meaning of the word, as in left-leaning democrat voter, it is when it concerns gun rights.

          • Publius says:

            Tell me more.

            • Jim Jones says:

              See the Democratic party platform.

              • Publius says:

                And I should believe Democrats because…?

                • SDN says:

                  They’ve done exactly what they said they would to destroy the country.

                  • Publius says:

                    What if I think other things are more important right now than tax and spend policies or guns, should I just stay home then?

                    • Jim Jones says:

                      You do as you wish. I just don’t want to hear people who vote for Democrats telling me that gun rights really matter to them.

                    • Publius says:

                      It does matter. But so do other things, and I don’t think the gun issue is quite so fragile as it is made out to be. It has too much mainstream support.

                    • Jim Jones says:

                      It does, which is why the Dems, on the national stage at least, can’t get anywhere. HOWEVER, if you look at the Democrat controlled enclaves (CT, NYC, CA, etc.), they are succeeding at passing their wet dreams. They aren’t doing shit about it because, well, it’s kind of hard and rather risky for one’s behind to go door to door to confiscate guns. I want anyone proposing the stuff that they are proposing in those enclaves to be tarred and feathered. Obama’s only regret is probably that Sandy Hook didn’t happen in 2009, when the Dems controlled both the Senate and the House. Instead, he wasted the Dems’ political capital on universal health care. The people were pretty resoundingly against that crap sandwich, and they still gave it to us. I have no doubt that if the opportunity presented itself again, they would go for it.

        • Alpheus says:

          I’m fine with “liberalism”, but not so much with “Liberalism”.

          Basically, if you say “liberal”, meaning that you support free speech, gun rights, the right to due process, and so forth, then I’m just fine with that. A lot of people like to use the word “Liberal”, though, to mean support for safe spaces, gun “safety”, giving the accusers in colleges the benefit of the doubt over the accused, and so forth. And this is really nasty stuff.

          Having said that, I would probably be better off using “Progressive” rather than “Liberal”, though, in an effort to reclaim the ideals of “liberalism”.

          For the record, I consider myself a conservative libertarian: namely, I have a deep respect for liberty, but I also see value in changing institutions slowly. I also have a strong sense of family and religious values, and a belief that society will collapse without them–but that you really shouldn’t have laws to enforce them, because a society that’s “moral” because of government intervention really isn’t moral at all.

          Indeed, as a so-called anarcho-capitalist, I would go so far as to say that murder should be “legal”, in whatever sense something can be legal when you can be sued and/or killed outright for doing it (because if it’s legal for me to murder you, it’s just as legal for your family to murder me)….

          But that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms…

  11. Stephen says:

    I honestly don’t like Trump, but in terms of the general election … right now Trump is being simply counted as “uncool” by the Dem leaning voters and so he doesn’t match up or poll well.

    But once he wins the Repub nomination (assuming he does) he’s going to get closer look simply because all the establishment Republicans find him so vile. And I think you’ll see the polls change — the hatred of the Republican establishment will be good for him.

    He’s not super socially conservative, isn’t locked into any difficult positions (like anti-gay marriage, etc.) and he’s NOT Hillary.

    I can tell you that one reason Trump wins is that he DOES talk off the cuff, and you can tell it. Rubio is painfully polished and contrived (it’s painful to hear him use “con job” 5x per interview, or whatever other phrase he’s pushing) and Trump is anything but contrived or establishment.

    I’m telling you … Trump could win it all. he could win New York. And then if he’s President … well … I think he’ll be better than Hillary.

    And honestly, he’s such a wild card, I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes down in History as a great President. He’s NOT a guy who’s going to do everything himself, he’s going to surround himself with capable (hopefully) people and then delegate everything but top level decision (which is what Reagan did, and really any competent leader at that level).

    Trump is a wild card, but we know what Hillary will be. I’d take a wild card over a sure loser. And as to the other idiotic phrase I’m sick of hearing … “Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil” … sheez. Neither Jesus or I are running this time, and we’re the only two perfect candidates! You’re never voting for someone absolutely perfect!

    Get over it. And vote for Trump in the general if he makes it.

    • Alpheus says:

      I’m sorry, but I cannot support Trump. It’s not a matter of perfection–heck, there are Republican candidates I dislike, but would vote for in an election–it’s that I’m convinced that Trump will shut out libertarianism and conservatism out of the Republican party, and then, because everyone will think of him as “conservative”, cause the nation to embrace liberal policies for the next generation.

      In sum: I’m convinced that we won’t be able to tell the difference between a Hillary Presidency, or a Trump one.

    • Dollup15 says:

      “I’m telling you … Trump could win it all. he could win New York.”

      I have seen this asserted several times, but I’m not sure where it is coming from. Polls are showing Clinton with a 25 to 30 point lead against Trump in New York State. What is Trump going to say that he hasn’t already that will change this?

      • Stephen says:

        With the view of Millenials and the direction we are going, particularly the Supreme court … conservatism or libertarianism MAY not survive Trump, but it seems like it damned sure won’t survive a Hillary or Sanders. If nothing else, they’ll bring in so many foreign votes that socialism will win every election.

        When you’re being swept on a river towards a waterfall you grab at whatever you see, even if it’s a branch that doesn’t look very strong. Because it’s better than nothing.

        Trump may be awful, but Bernie or Hillary are a waterfall. And there are big socialist rocks below.

        • Jim Jones says:

          It will be no comfort to you, but we are rapidly careening towards peek socialism throughout the world. Even Russia and China have moved away from centrally-planned socialist economies. It simply doesn’t work. The entirety of Europe, in an effort to combat shrinking demographics, has been welcoming immigrants and refugees who will never adopt their values. They are so hard-pressed for bodies to keep the ponzi scheme going that they invited the barbarians in.

          Europe’s sovereign debt will blow up first, which will kick the U.S. dollar up, right before it makes its own downfall. There has never been a government, in the entire history of the world, that has repayed its national debt. They will continue to borrow until they can’t anymore. The great reset is going to be spectacular on our shores. Who knows what will come out of it. What I do know is that it won’t all be peaches & cream. What will be hard will be figuring out which areas of the country are most likely to adhere to some form of what we consider conservative values. There is no fighting the exponential function.

      • Alpheus says:

        I’d even go so far as to say “If Trump won, did *we* really win anything?”

        If Hillary had decided to run as a Republican, for example, and was doing well in the nomination process, could we honestly say we win, if she became President? Sure, she could win New York and California, but in the end, would it really matter?

    • Ahnold says:

      I’ll hold my breath and vote for trump if hes the nominee, but he is most likely going to lose. It’s not his political positions he takes, but that he is viewed by the electorate as “unlikeable”. This is very hard to change, even with the election being many months away. What’s worse is that hillary’s biggest weakness was her like-ability.

      If Trump’s the nominee, Hillary will be president with a nice democratic controlled senate.

  12. Texas carry says:

    Justice Thomas asks a question for the first time in 10 years, even tho he is asking the right questions, is Johnny come late to the party concerning our Civil Rights. ALL the justices should have been asking questions instead of just giving opinions and not really looking at our Civil Rights as a whole and clearly written. I am glad he is there, finally, late but there.

    • Alpheus says:

      Honestly, I don’t mind Justice Thomas not asking questions, if the questions he would ask are being asked. I have the impression that this is the type of question that Justice Scalia would have asked; the fact that Justice Thomas asked this question is a harsh reminder that the Court is now in danger of tottering to the side of destroying freedom.

      • I have gotten the impression that Thomas is just a quiet person. Having Scalia there to ask the questions was probably good for him. If he is anything like me, he probably quietly suggested questions to Scalia, knowing that Scalia, being an out-spoken person like he was, would ask them.

        Being an introvert myself, I have done much the same thing. Not, of course, on the same scale since I’m not a judge or anything, but similar none the less.

  13. Jim Jones says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, IF Trump manages to secure the nomination AND beat Hillary, he will not be making any real decisions on judges. He’ll have a team of folks recommending people for him to nominate. None of these things take place in a vacuum. What we need to watch for is who he picks for his various teams.

    • Alpheus says:

      Yes, but we don’t get to see what those teams will look like until after Trump gets the nomination–or worse, gets the Presidency.

      One thought experiment I’ve had in my head lately is this: If we were to nominate Donald Trump to the Supreme Court, what evidence would we have that he’d be another Scalia or Thomas? And if the evidence is lacking for this, how can we trust that he’d be able to appoint another Scalia or Thomas?

      • Stephen says:

        Again … if Trump doesn’t get the Presidency (assuming he wins today) it means Hillary or Bernie will. and the 2nd amendment WILL be a dead letter for the rest of your lives. Trump may not be a great hope, but he may be the only hope (and if a Cruz or a Rubio gets the Republican candidacy I’ll be pleasantly surprise because I would prefer either one).

        • Alpheus says:

          The more I listen to Trump, though, the more convinced I am that he will be no different than Hillary. It’s bad enough that I cannot even harbor an illusion of hope that he’ll be any better…

  14. Jim says:

    Well all you Trump haters, he’s not my perfect candidate but he will be the nominee, face it. Although I like Cruz he is much better suited to the Supreme Court than to the presidency, if you believe in protecting the Constitution even a little bit. Rubio can’t be trusted in any way because he believes that all illegals need to be treated like Cubans, cross the finish line and get in for free. Lets look at 3 Republican candidates from the last 20 years, Dole, McCain, and Romney. None of these three had the stones to take it to their opponents. Bob “it’s my turn” Dole. John “my good friend Ted Kennedy” McCain. And Mitt “I’m ashamed of my wealth” Romney. Does anyone here think that Mittens would not have led the charge for another assault weapons ban after Newtown? Trump will slice and dice Hillery just like a velociraptor would to an old cow, just look at how he shut down her perverted husband. He is unafraid, and that’s what we need if we want to win.

  15. Ollie says:

    Trump won’t be president.

    He has a 60% “dislike” rating in polling among the general public. No surprise, he actually is a horrible person.

    Hope all you Trump voters enjoy Hillary and her Supreme Court picks!

    • Texas carry says:

      Its funny to see a dislike rating that high yet lead the nomination race that’s voted by the public. So where is this dislike poll, who and where are they? Sample size? Somebody is pulling a lot of leg here.

      • Dollup15 says:

        Actually, it makes perfect sense. Here are the collective results of the primary results so far: Trump received 34% of the vote, Cruz received 28% of the vote, and Rubio received 22% of the votes (the others have small percentages). With a “dislike” rating of 65%, and Trump receiving 34% of the vote, it actually makes perfect sense.

  16. Old Law Prof says:

    A Cruz-Rubio deal (can Rubio be trusted?) to appoint Cruz to fill the Scalia seat on the Supreme Court would be perfect. A lifetime seat in the Supreme Court, in the long run, is more important than a 4 or 8 year Presidency. It would be win-win for the American people.

    • dwb says:

      Yeah, but unfortunately both have a large enough ego and a strong enough case to stay in as the anti-Trump. Cruz has more delegates and a bigger claim on staying in the race, but he is too far right for the general election.

      • Texas carry says:

        Maybe that moving to the far right is what the majority now want. This sharp move to the left in the last 4 years has gotten us where? After all, its the same people voting in the primary and if primary is any indication of voter turnout, the general election will be huge! Yesterday here there were a few locations that ran out of ballots and they thought ahead enough to print 4 times more than usual. It has been record setting turnout in history. The dems side tho looks very weak. Almost as if no energy is in the dems side, or the majority of them are voting republican now.

        I thought being too far to the right was a killer. I dont believe that anymore, not with what is going on now.

        • dwb says:

          People are angry and just want to throw a grenade at D.C. If Trump is any indication, they could care less right or left since he is more of a democrat than Republican.

  17. Whetherman says:

    You Will Never be Elected President: an Open Letter to Donald Trump

    The last time a national party denied its nomination to the leader in votes at its primaries was in 1968, when the Democratic Party convention nominated Hubert Humphrey, who had earned zero votes in the primaries. One result of that anticipated outcome was the gathering of tens of thousands of protesters in Chicago, who were met by 12,000 police, 7,500 Army troops, 7,500 of the National Guard, and 1,000 Secret Service agents.

    Read. . .

  18. FiftycalTX says:

    Sorry you didn’t get the memo. Rubio=Jeb!=Kasich=AMNESTY=Hillary. The GOPe/uniparty are going insane because if Cruz or (maybe) Trump get in, they are FINISHED.Rubio is set up to LOSE to Hillary or if elected, continue the FREE FEDERAL MONEY to the uniparty/fascists that control the gov. NOW. Havn’t you wondered WHY IT IS that the “GOPe” has controlled Congress for 6 YEARS and they still can’t get a BUDGET? Why NOTHING HAS CHANGED! It’s because the GOPe/uniparty doesn’t want change. And Rubio is the last uniparty candidate still standing.

    • Alpheus says:

      Trump is as uniparty as it gets. I find it funny that so many people talk about Trump as an anti-establishment party when he’s getting endorsements from all sorts of establishment-types (Chris Christie, anyone?) and he’s promising to make deals with the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

      I don’t think Trump will be the type to cut back spending, either; on the other hand, a couple of weeks ago I had the cynical thought of “Well, we’ll never be able to pay off our debt, so perhaps having a President who’s gone through four major bankruptcies will be perfect for getting the United States through their first!”

      With that cynical thought, perhaps the best lesson in this campaign should be “Make sure your guns are in working order! Make sure you have plenty of ammo! And try to get a year’s worth of food, if you can! We’re in for a *very* bumpy ride!”

  19. Overload in CO says:

    The article I read on this said there was a gasp from the gallery when Thomas spoke.

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