Twenty years of Justice Thomas

There is a price for Clarence Thomas’s 20 years of purity of principle and clarity of expression. He will never be the builder of coalitions, the leader of majorities, or the rudderless vote swinging in the middle. He rejects Justice William Brennan’s famous description of the most important rule on the Supreme Court: the rule of five votes. He happily forswears the siren song of political popularity and judicial compromise necessary to sit in the majority.

Instead, he is swinging for the fences. The true audience for his call for a return to Founding principles is the American people, not a few federal judges.

In his first two decades, not only has the court steadily moved in his direction, but also an unprecedented grass-roots movement has taken up his call for limited government and individual freedom. Imagine what he will do in the next 20 years.