U.S. Supreme Court

'Unchecked judicial power' creates newly discovered rights, Justice Thomas tells Federalist Society

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Justice Clarence Thomas

Justice Clarence Thomas.

Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday said the U.S. Supreme Court is granting rights that aren’t found in the Constitution.

As an example Thomas cited the decision finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The Washington Examiner and the Associated Press, in stories here and here, covered Thomas’ remarks.

“Today it is the view of many that the Supreme Court is the giver of liberties—what an odd conception of governance, that we the people are dependent on the third branch of government to grant us our freedom,” Thomas said. “With such unchecked judicial power, the court day-by-day, case-by-case, is busy designing the Constitution—as Justice Scalia once quipped—instead of interpreting it.”

Thomas said the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinions should “not be the final word written in support of originalism and constitutionalism. Rather, they ought to be a prologue.”

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. also spoke at the event.

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