Lightfoot, Who Yelled ‘F*** Clarence Thomas,’ Complains About ‘Toxicity In Our Public Discourse’
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, speaks during the U.S Conference of Mayors 88th Winter Meeting at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, January 23, 2020.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, only days after yelling, ‘F*** Clarence Thomas!” to a cheering crowd, had the gall to tell a press conference that she was concerned about “the toxicity in our public discourse.”

Lightfoot was discussing gun violence in the wake of the Highland Park shooting on July 4.

“What feels like is happening this moment in our democracy is people are losing respect for the institutions of our democracy,” Lightfoot, who targeted Thomas after his concurrence in the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, declared hypocritically.

“You’ve heard the superintendent talk over and over again about the number of law officers in full uniform, in their squad cars, that are being shot at. That says to me that the people who are acting so brazenly have not only no respect for themselves but they don’t have any respect for the institution like the police department, who, men and women, every single day, on every watch, are literally risking life and limb for our safety,” Lightfoot continued.

Then she pronounced, “The toxicity in our public discourse is a thing that I think we should all be concerned about, right? And it’s ironic, obviously, that we’re having this conversation of what happened on Independence Day. You know, we’re not like a lot of other countries were independence — their version of Independence Day is marked with, you know, troops and tanks and — no, what we do in the United States is we come together as a community.”

In late June, Lightfoot, incensed by Thomas’ concurring opinion in the case which overturned Roe v. Wade, screamed to a crowd, “F*** Clarence Thomas!”

In his concurrence, Thomas went farther than the other conservative justices, calling for the concept of substantive due process to be thrown out and reconsidering “all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.” Griswold v. Connecticut enshrined the “right to privacy,” Lawrence v. Texas ruled that people had the right to “seek autonomy” in their private relationships, and Obergefell v. Hodges enshrined the right to same-sex marriage.

“If you read Clarence Thomas’ concurrence … f*** Clarence Thomas,” Lightfoot, who is a lesbian, screamed. She raged, “If he thinks we are going to stand idly by while they take our rights … ”

In Thomas’ concurrence, he first explained the rationale for the conservative justices overturning Roe using substantive due process: “The Court well explains why, under our substantive due process precedents, the purported right to abortion is not a form of ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause. Such a right is neither ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition nor ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’”

But then he segued to decimating the concept of substantive due process: “As I have previously explained, ‘substantive due process’ is an oxymoron that ‘lack[s] any basis in the Constitution.’”

He quoted himself from another case, McDonald v. Chicago: “The notion that a constitutional provision that guarantees only ‘process’ before a person is deprived of life, liberty, or property could define the substance of those rights strains credulity for even the most casual user of words.”

He noted the other conservative justices’ reluctance to tackle substantive due process: “The Court today declines to disturb substantive due process jurisprudence generally or the doctrine’s application in other, specific contexts. Cases like Griswold v. Connecticut, (right of married persons to obtain contraceptives); Lawrence v. Texas, (right to engage in private, consensual sexual acts); and Obergefell v. Hodges (right to same-sex marriage), are not at issue.”

Then he went where the other justices apparently feared to go: “For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”

“After overruling these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our substantive due process cases have generated,” he continued. “For example, we could consider whether any of the rights announced in this Court’s substantive due process cases are ‘privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States’ protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.”

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