The Supreme Court today upheld a law which allows prisioners to practice their religion from behind bars. Media coverage has focused on the unanimous vote by the Court, and on the atypical religions which the law protects. The Washington Post’s coverage, for example, begins “[t]he Supreme Court sided with a witch, a Satanist and a racial separatist Tuesday, upholding a federal law requiring state prisons to accommodate the religious affiliations of inmates.”
What the media has not mentioned is a radical concurring opinion by Justice Thomas which would eliminate the New Deal and roll back the Civil Rights Movement. Among the laws which would be doomed by Thomas’ approach are “the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the sick leave portions of the Family and Medical Leave, the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act, as well as minimum wage and maximum hour laws and labor and environmental laws.”
During his 2000 campaign, President Bush touted Clarence Thomas as a model Justice, and promised to appoint more Justices just like him.
– Ian Millhiser