Nancy Gish wrote:
> For example, even Clarence Thomas, who almost never speaks and seems
> seldom bothered by concepts of human rights, was passionate in the
> Supreme Court on the meaning of cross burning as NOT protected speech
> because it had no meaning other than to create terror.
An excerpt from Dahlia Lithwick's report on the court hearing from
Out of nowhere booms the great, surprising "Luke-I-am-your-father"
voice of He Who Never Speaks. Justice Clarence Thomas suddenly asks a
question and everyone's head pops up and starts looking madly around,
like the Muppets on Veterinarian Hospital. "Aren't you understating
the effects ... of 100 years of lynching?" he booms. "This was a reign
of terror, and the cross was a sign of that. ... It is unlike any
symbol in our society. It was intended to cause fear, terrorize."
Dreeben, who fears he has somehow been insensitive, tries to
recover. "It was used to intimidate minorities ..." he begins. "More
than minorities," booms back The Voice. "Certain groups." It's not
clear what, precisely, has set Thomas off about Dreeben's presentation
or why he's attacking the deputy SG rather than the guy defending the
Klansman. But as quickly as he wound up, he winds down, and resumes
his standard posture of staring fixedly at the ceiling.
[SG = Solicitor General, the Justice Department official who presents
the government's case to the Supreme Court]