Earlier this week, Michael Barone was one of a number of right-of-center political pundits to comment on “Jeffrey Toobin’s lengthy article on Supreme Court jurisprudence”, focusing on Justice Clarence Thomas and the judicial challenge to Obamacare.
It is possible, Barone writes
. . . to read Toobin’s article as a partisan hit job, echoing the demands of 74 Democratic House members that Justice Thomas recuse himself from sitting on a case challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare because of his wife’s involvement in the Tea Party movement.
Never mind that this is a standard neither Toobin nor the Democrats apply to other public officials with spouses active in public affairs — and that they’re not asking Justice Elena Kagan to recuse herself because of her work in the Justice Department on the issue.
Nor did they ask for their colleague Barney Frank to recuse himself from the House Financial Services Committee (under its current or previous names) despite the fact that the Massachusetts Democrat helped his spouse secure a job at Fannie Mae, a Government Sponsored Enterprise this committee oversees.
Barone also points out that “despite his obvious distaste for Thomas’ views, [Toobin] takes [the justice] seriously as a judicial thinker and pathfinder”:
In addition, as Toobin accurately reports, Thomas is the strongest originalist on the court, the justice who most consistently seeks to apply the provisions of the Constitution as they were originally understood. . . .
Toobin’s article represents the end of the fashionable left’s attempt to portray Thomas as an intellectual lightweight.
Read the whole thing. One wonders if some on the left failed to discern the intellectual caliber of the jurist’s mind because of the color of his skin.