Clarence Thomas: One of the Justices Essay

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“Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever,” declared by past President William Howard Taft. Dated in 1789, the Judiciary Act by signed by Congress, which was demanded by the United States Constitution. This past principal court was ruled by a Chief Justice and five Associate Justices, accordingly today we still have a Chief Justice, but we currently have eight Associate Justices. The current Supreme Court has John G. Roberts, Jr. as Chief Justice, and the following are the current Associate Justices: Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr., Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Clarence Thomas, a conservative, best known as the second …show more content…

One of the top most controversial cases Thomas was an Associate Justice for was Miller v. Alabama, which occurred from March 20, 2012 to June 25, 2012. The Court held that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. It was said these juvenile offenders could not receive cruel and unusual punishment, which is under the Eight Amendment. It was decided 4:5 vote, which immediately Thomas wrote a dissenting statement. Justice Thomas argues these lines of precedent do not resemble the original understanding of the Eight Amendment. He concludes The Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause does not contain the principle, and does not authorize courts to invalidate any punishment they deem “disproportionate to the severity of the crime or to a particular class of offenders. Thomas does not argue to overturn the precedents, but rather for a future reference look at the Eighth Amendment in its original understanding.

Another evident Court case Thomas contributed to was Utah Highway Patrol Association v. American Atheists. The issue was when should the Establishment Clause test be applied when analyzing passive public displays, for example does the clause forbid roadside memorial crosses marking the site of death for state highways troopers who were killed in the line of duty. It was narrowly decided that the cross displays were an unconstitutional violation of the Clause. Thomas wrote a nineteen page dissent

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