No longer able to use Antonin Scalia as a crutch to do his job, Justice Clarence Thomas actually asked a question for the first time in ten years and it was utterly ridiculous and offensive.
The break in silence happened during a Monday oral arguments session before the Supreme Court on a gun rights case involving two men from Maine who committed domestic violence against their partners. Both men pleaded guilty, and under a 1996 law they had their right to own a firearm suspended because domestic violence often ends up resulting in the killing of women with a gun later on. Guns and domestic violence offenders clearly do not mix so the law was passed to prevent tragedies from occurring.
Justice Thomas, however, chose to grill Justice Department Attorney Ilana Eisenstein about Second Amendment rights ten minutes before the session ended and after she was about to take a seat after asking if there were any more questions from the Justices.
“Can you give me another example where a misdemeanor suspends a constitutional right permanently?” Thomas asked, causing people to gasp in shock.
And over the next five minutes, Thomas engaged in a back-and-forth with Eisenstein.
According to Talking Points Memo, here’s how the encounter went down.
“You’re saying that a misdemeanor conviction results in a lifelong ban on possessing a gun,” Thomas said. “Which at least right now is a constitutional right.”
“In these cases, did any of the petitioners use a weapon?”
Eisenstein responded that they had not.
“So it is not directly related” to the original crime, Thomas asked.
In short, Thomas finally decided to stop neglecting his job by standing up for the right of domestic abusers to be able to get their hands on a gun. He didn’t even bother asking the opposing attorney any questions, making it pretty clear which side he is on, and it isn’t the side of domestic violence victims.
But Thomas appears to be in the minority this time, especially since Scalia is no longer there to put the and NRA and conservative agenda above the safety of women. The Associated Press reports that “most of the Justices appeared to favor the government’s position that even reckless acts of domestic assault fall under the law.”
The case before the high court is Voisine v. United States.
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