By writing his memoirs and promoting them on 60 Minutes, Clarence Thomas has not only breached the traditional Supreme Court wall of personal privacy but, in effect, made it clear that his critical vote to give George W. Bush the presidency in 2000 should never have been cast.
Given the bitterness and disdain he now publicly expresses for Democratic Senators over their behavior during his confirmation hearings in 1991, how could he possibly not have recused himself from the case that would give the presidency to their party or, as it actually did by a 5-4 vote, to the Republicans and the son of the man who named him to the court at that?
Could there be a case in which a Justice is compromised by personal prejudice any more clearly?
In his blog on The Hill web site, old Washington hand Brent Budowsky notes the unprecedented event of a Justice “using the Court’s return as a book promotion to remind the world of his enemies, demons, biases and vendettas.”
Budowsky, a former Democratic aide in Congress who advises politicians of both parties, went on to suggest that Thomas “should now recuse himself from any cases involving any litigants who opposed his confirmation, because his attacks on them destroy any pretense of judicial impartiality. This is a man with a chip on his shoulder, axes to grind and scores to settle.”
He was the same man in December, 2000 when he cast the only vote in the United States that counted to make George W. Bush the 43rd President. Almost seven years later, he is still so full of the anger behind that vote that he can’t resist confessing how wrong it was of him to cast it.