In light of the 25th anniversary of Justice Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, Red Alert Politics participated in a teleforum call with The Federalist Society to find out how the justice appeals to millennials.
The call featured C. Boyden Gray of Boyden Gray & Associates; Gregory G. Katsas, who clerked during Thomas’s first year from 1991-1992; Professor John C. Yoo of the University of California Berkeley School of Law, who clerked 1994-1995; and Carrie Severino, who clerked 2007-2008.
Yoo spoke to his experience with millennials in the classroom, whom he says are “skeptical of government regulation.”
He specifically mentioned Airbnb and Uber, which was forced out of Austin due to regulations.
Of all the justices on the Court, “I think he would be the first one to vote against the idea that the government can ban Uber as the city of Austin has, or put taxes on Airbnb, or put all kinds of crazy licensing requirements on what occupations you’re allowed to pursue,” Yoo said.
Yoo believed Thomas can appeal to all millennials in this way, since the “irrational local regulation of how you make your living” is “something a lot of them seem to agree on, whether they’re conservative or liberal.”
Those close to Thomas described him as a principled man, especially when it comes to his devotion to the original text of the Constitution. He is committed to this even if his opinions go against policy preferences, as well as precedent, the views of colleagues, academic opinion, and public opinion, Yoo said.
Thomas appeals to millennials and the ordinary person, as he wants anyone to be able to understand his opinions. While he may be known for his silence on the bench, Severino described him as a talkative person.
Another unknown fact, which may appeal to millennials, Severino suggested, is that he is the most tech-savvy justice on the Court.