I spoke with Erin Snodgrass of Insider about our corruption problem with the nation’s top appellate court, and sadly the headline captures the spirit of the thing.
But surely he shows charity toward people who fail to comply with technical legal requirements…
It is apparently no harm and no foul for a justice of the Supreme Court to show willful and repeated indifference to disclosure requirements under the law.
Here, it’s worth saying that Justice Thomas is notoriously unforgiving of criminal defendants who make procedural mistakes. In a 2022 opinion for the court, he narrowed the scope of appeals for state prisoners — including those on death row — who believe they received inadequate legal representation. Thomas says those prisoners can no longer present new evidence to support their claim.
The issue is that most claims of poor assistance involve new evidence. Too bad, says Thomas. If it wasn’t presented at the appropriate point in the process, then it doesn’t count. The Constitution as interpreted by Clarence Thomas doesn’t allow prisoners to amend the form.
a reminder that last term, Justice Thomas authored the opinion that says *when your state-appointed lawyer* fails to introduce evidence of your innocence in state court, that's *your fault* – and it's illegal for a federal court to consider the evidence. https://t.co/Ixj6jDMZF5 https://t.co/hJT4irqHoH— Leah Litman (@LeahLitman) April 17, 2023
See, there’s a difference between people who may have fractured a law or five and criminals, if you know what I mean.