Supreme Court: The Justices Scold Thomas

The Justices Scold Thomas

At Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings last fall, his supporters argued that the judge's deprived childhood in Pin Point, Ga., would make him sensitive to the oppressed. But after writing a harsh dissent last week, the Supreme Court's youngest Justice and only black member found himself rebuked by seven of his judicial colleagues for ignoring "concepts of dignity, civilized standards, humanity and decency."

The court's swipe came in an opinion involving Keith Hudson, a black Louisiana prisoner who was kicked and punched by two guards while he was handcuffed and shackled. A supervisor stood by, instructing the guards "not to have too...