July 11, 2011

The "meticulous iconography" of the Clarence Thomas bobblehead doll.

Supreme Court bobblehead dolls are a Green Bag (law journal) tradition, and each one depicts a Justice along with various items that reflect things from decision he or she has authored:
For example, Thomas is shown standing on two pizza boxes, a reference to Thomas's statement in the 2005 case National Cable & Telecomm. Association v. Brand X Internet Services, "One can pick up a pizza rather than having it delivered, and one can own a dog without buying a leash. By contrast, the [Federal Communications] Commission reasonably concluded, a consumer cannot purchase Internet service without also purchasing a connection to the Internet."

Likewise, Thomas is holding an American flag which has on the reverse side the text of the 1954 federal law that added the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance. The law was at issue in the 2004 case Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, in which Thomas wrote a concurrence asserting the unusual view that the First Amendment's Establishment Clause does not protect an individual right or apply against state laws. 
More details here,


ndspinelli said...

That's racist.

Shouting Thomas said...

It's a pretty clever bobblehead.

I'd like to have one.

Especially if it's racist. And, I like Justice Thomas.

Maguro said...

I guess having him hold a Coke can with a pubic hair on it was out of the question.

Shouting Thomas said...

I guess having him hold a Coke can with a pubic hair on it was out of the question.

Did anybody ever make a porno out of the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill thing?

That would have been hilarious.

David said...

They should do these as bookends too. Scalia and Thomas, holding up your books. Too cool.

Carol_Herman said...

Wrong on Sandra Day O'Connor!

She should be holding a fork. And, have 2 plastic reindeers by her side. You could stack the two. Keep them harnessed together. Or have one on each side of her.

Anthony Kennedy is just mini-me-sandra day o'connor. And, he needs a spy glass ... and he should be facing Brussels.

Oh, in the "learning something new every day" department ... Hopkins got hit by a train? How? You'd think the boom would have dissuaded him from the tracks.

Hagar said...

The current interpretation of the "Establishment Clause" is an invention of Justice Hugo Black (D-AL), and stands as a monument to his ego and dominant personality on the court.

Justice Thomas' view is the traditional one and what is indicated by the plain English interpretation of the text.

Carol_Herman said...

At the top, "that's racist?"

Maybe, then, a white figurine would do?

But how would people know it was Clarence Thomas?

You know, I hope, by the way, that kids today DO NOT GET the coke reference, with the pubic hair on top!

It was, though, as Clarence Thomas said, a televised lynching! Not a confirmation hearing.

But at some point the senators got terrified ... and, confirmed him, anyway. What was it that scared them off?

Carol_Herman said...

Clarence Thomas getting the elder Bush's nod ... is probably the only ONE GOOD THING the minor bush the elder ever did in his entire life!

Didn't add to getting liked by Black voters, though.

And, as Martha Stewart is prone to saying "that's a good thing."

Sigivald said...

asserting the unusual view that the First Amendment's Establishment Clause does not protect an individual right or apply against state laws.

It's odd that that should be unusual, since the text says that Congress shall not establish a State religion.

That can't really be an "individual right", since it's a prohibition on Congress doing something. (I suppose you could decide that's an individual right to not have an Established Church, but that seems both strained and unnecessary...)

And it plainly didn't affect the States until at least the 14th Amendment - there were established State-level churches, which were not removed by Constitutional challenge.

Nobody (to my knowledge) in 1789 thought it would have the effect of removing State-level Establishments, and indeed that wasn't the goal - but to prevent an oppressive Federal Establishment.

The only thing that should be potentially unusual about Thomas' concurrence there is the question of whether the 14th Amendment incorporated the prohibition on Established Churches against the States (which was more or less moot, since they were already all gone and there's been no hint of wanting to restore any).

Lucius Septimius said...

That's really inventive -- I don't know that I'd have chosen those opinions, but that is still very thoughtful.

Years ago I suggested bobble-head dolls of faculty as a fundraising tool -- maybe I'll use this story to bring up the idea again.

The Crack Emcee said...

You know what? I have NO IDEA what's racist anymore.

But I think this might be. Challenge me on it, we'll see.

Phil 3:14 said...

You know I don't know a single doctor who has a doctor bobblehead on his/her desk.

Lawyers are a funny lot.

Carol_Herman said...

I'm up to the challenge, Crack Emcee. It looks like an old clip from the Ed Sullivan Show.

I don't see racism. Seems like across America, Ed Sullivan's Show got beamed into living rooms everywhere.

PaulV said...

Once again I know less than Crack even when he does not know. What a world

WV: expresse
What I put in my demitasse cup

edutcher said...

Surprised the Ruth Bader Ginsburg one doesn't have her with one foot on a banana peel and the other in a deep hole.

ndspinelli said...

Yes, that's racist.