Clarence Thomas’s commitment to black Americans


Fascinating article by Corey Robin in the New York Times. It strikes me that there are some echoes here of emerging contemporary evangelical theology–a rejection of the Religious Right and political engagement and move towards personal and societal engagement (see, e.g., Stanley Hauerwas). As Rubin writes:

The conservative principles that Justice Thomas came to embrace — and still holds on the Supreme Court — reflect that sense of defeat. He now believes that black politics is an exercise in futility: The combination of white racism, racial inequality and the small size of the black electorate makes it impossible for African-Americans to achieve a political foothold.


At the heart of Justice Thomas’s jurisprudence, then, is a belief that the market is effective and politics is pointless. Such a jurisprudence suggests that Justice Thomas’s ideological story is less personal and psychological than it is historical and political. It reflects the larger retrenchment we’ve been living with since the 1970s, where politics is a commoner and capital is king, where people look to the market for solutions rather than the state.