(Fox News) As Justice Clarence Thomas faces attacks from liberals — including a recent petition to have him removed from George Washington University’s faculty — the justice is more influential than ever, experts on the justice tell Fox News.
“The left has been after Clarence Thomas since December of 1980, really — just as he was about to join the Reagan administration. And they hate him,” Mark Paoletta told Fox News Digital. Paoletta was with the George H.W. Bush administration during Thomas’ confirmation and helped recruit him for the job.
“They’ve tried to destroy him. They’ve tried to marginalize him,” Paoletta said. “And 30 years later, he’s not just standing strong. His influence is at its zenith.”
Conservatives, especially those frustrated with sometimes centrist rulings from Chief Justice John Roberts, have lauded Thomas as the keystone of the court’s conservative bloc this term.
His most significant written opinion was the majority opinion in a New York gun case last month that was considered a major win for Second Amendment advocates. Perhaps his biggest win; however, was Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Thomas, Paoletta said, had been calling on the court to do that for decades.
“He didn’t write it, but the court was heavily influenced by Justice Thomas, in my opinion, the current sort of majority, by the courage he has shown in his jurisprudence,” Paoletta said. “Justice Thomas has been writing about overturning Roe for 30 years.”
Notably, Thomas was the most senior justice in the majority on the Dobbs case. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a concurring opinion saying he would uphold the Mississippi law underlying the litigation but not overturn Roe in its entirety. That means Thomas assigned the majority opinion to Alito.
On so many topics, he used to be regularly a lone dissenter or joined only by Justice Scalia, but now he is the leader of a majority of justices who share his commitment to originalism and the rule of law,” Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino told Fox News Digital. Severino was a clerk for Thomas.