ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Down Memory Lane

there may be more immediate political dividends for the Republicans in power. The black vote has traditionally gone to Democrats, and by nominating Thomas to the Supreme Court, Bush sought to divert some of this large vote bank to the Republicans, Throughout the White House stood by Clarence Thomas. Writing of the 'gutter tactics' employed by the White House, Tom Wicker wrote in the New York Times of how "the President of the United States authorised a deliberate attack on the character, motives, mental condition and veracity of an American citizen named Anita Hill" (October 17, 1991), Yet there is a still more disturbing aspect to the role of the White House in this nomination. The constitutional provision of the separation of powers is, like any other part of the constitution, subject to interpretation, and Bush evidently nominated Thomas because of his strong support of the powers of the executive. In Morrison vs Olson, an important case decided just weeks before Thomas' nomination, the Supreme Court upheld by 7-1 the constitutionality of a law permitting the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate suspected wrongdoings in the executive branch. It was under this law that a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal. The dissenting voice was that of Antonio Scalia, a recent appointee to the court, and in a speech that Thomas gave, he congratulated Scalia and denounced the court for sanctioning the unconstitutional curtailment of the rights of the executive branch.

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