Justice Thomas’s Ugly Accusation (Joined by Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) in the Census Case

Others have made this point, but I wanted to flag this gratuitous and unsupported impugning of district court judge Furman in the census case. Thomas painted Furman as a conspiracy theorist in his partial dissent (joined by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh):

The District Court’s lengthy opinion pointed to other facts that, in its view, supported a finding of pretext. 351 F. Supp. 3d, at 567–572, 660–664 (discussing the statements, e-mails, acts, and omissions of numerous people involved in the process). I do not deny that a judge predisposed to distrust the Secretary or the administration could arrange those facts on a corkboard and—with a jar of pins and a spool of string—create an eye-catching conspiracy web. Cf. id., at 662 (inferring “from the various ways in which [the Secretary] and his aides acted like people with something to hide that they did have something to hide”). But the Court does not rely on this evidence, and rightly so: It casts no doubt on whether the Secretary’s stated rationale factored into his decision. The evidence suggests, at most, that the Secretary had multiple reasons for wanting to include the citizenship question on the census.


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