Sen. Reid calls Justice Thomas 'an embarrassment'

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada), the incoming minority leader in the Senate, called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "an embarrassment" and said he wouldn't back him as Chief Justice.

"I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written. I just don't think that he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice," Reid said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

Thomas, the only African-American on the court, has been suggested as possible replacement for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who has been the subject of speculation because he hasn't returned to session in recent weeks. Rehnquist is recovering from a cancer-related surgery.

Justice Antonin Scalia has also been suggested as a replacement. Reid said he didn't agree with his opinions but called him "one smart guy."

Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas almost always rule against tribes in Indian law cases. Earlier this year, Thomas wrote an opinion in the U.S. v. Lara case that questioned tribal sovereignty.

"As this case should make clear, the time has come to reexamine the premises and logic of our tribal sovereignty cases," he wrote. The case involved whether tribes have the inherent authority to prosecute and try members of other tribes for criminal acts.

Get the Story:
Reid: Democrats Will Fight on Key Issues (The Washignton Post 12/6)

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