Clarence Thomas Invokes Slavery In Gay Marriage Dissent: Gov’t Cannot Bestow Dignity


PicMonkey Collage - Clarence ThomasJustice Clarence Thomas was among the four justices who dissented on Friday against removing state bans on same-sex marriages. Thomas has a reputation for being one of the most conservative justices of the Supreme Court, and when Thomas delivered his scathing dissent, he included several bizarre remarks invoking slavery.

Thomas’s dissent took issue with the concepts of “liberty” and “dignity,” arguing that the petitioners were not deprived of their liberty by government intervention, and that the Constitution offered the government no authority to remove or instill a person’s “dignity.”

Thomas brought up the Declaration of Independence’s words about all men being created equal, and said that that principle applied even to African-Americans who were once kept as slaves:

“The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”

Thomas added that he was concerned that the majority decision would take effect with “inestimable consequences for our Constitution and our society.”

“Today’s decision casts that truth aside,” Thomas wrote. “In its haste to reach a desired result, the majority misapplies a clause focused on ‘due process’ to afford substantive rights, disregards the most plausible understanding of the ‘liberty’ protected by that clause.”

[h/t The Hill]
[Image via Supreme Court of the United States]

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