Thursday, April 02, 2009

Justice Thomas on the Bill of Responsibilities

Justice Thomas delivered the keynote address to a group of high school students who won an essay contest sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute:
Thomas touched on familiar themes of responsibility and self-reliance. In the current economic crisis, Thomas said it is remarkable how many people think that "each of us is owed prosperity and a certain standard of living." But his own upbringing taught him that prosperity is not a constant, and he recalled a time when "air conditioning was the ultimate luxury." Laughing, he added, "I'm one of those who still thinks the dishwasher is a miracle," which he said explains why "I like to load it" at home.

Likewise, Thomas said the proliferation of taken-for-granted rights has led to the "virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with grievances ... Shouldn't there at least be equal time for our bill of obligations, our bill of responsibilities?" Thomas did say that rights were important, and he extolled the 14th Amendment as the source of many of them.

I don't really have a comment on this; I just like collecting statements by Justice Thomas. He really is one of the more fascinating legal actors I've come across in my studies.

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