U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is making groundbreaking move to push the nation’s high court to reframe how they allow plaintiffs to sue under Article III of the Constitution, according to a legal report by Reuters Alison Frankel.
“U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was all alone in 2016, when he suggested in a concurrence in Spokeo Inc v. Robins that courts should reframe how they think about plaintiffs’ right to sue under Article III of the Constitution to focus on whether lawsuits seek to vindicate private or public rights,” Frankel wrote.
However, according to the same report, Thomas was not on his own anymore when he reconceptualized the Article III process, as it is now popping up in more and more cases in appellate opinions.
Recent days have seen Thomas’ theory featured in rulings from both the 6th and 11th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, according to Reuters.
In one such case, Judge Kevin Newsom of the 11th Circuit even suggested in his May 6 concurrence in Sierra v. City of Hallandale Beach that Thomas’ theory was very needful in helping decipher the Article III standing doctrine
“The rights-based approach moves in the right direction,” Newsom wrote last week. “An Article III ‘case’ exists if, and whenever, the plaintiff has a cause of action – including under any statutory provision authorizing suit in federal court to vindicate the violation of a legal right.”
Thomas has been known to be a staunch conservative throughout his three decades on the bench. He has also been largely quiet.
The Georgia native has been vocal about his belief that the leniency given in the form of protection against lawsuits could serve only to harm the rights of individuals.
Thomas is only the second Black person to serve on the United States Supreme Court and was a George H.W. Bush nominee.