This article from the Washington Post cemented why I want Thomas as chief justice. What they see as a negative I see as a positive.
Specifically, Scalia told Foskett that Thomas "doesn't believe in stare decisis, period." Clarifying his remark, Scalia added that "if a constitutional line of authority is wrong, he would say let's get it right. I wouldn't do that."Only Thomas is willing to investigate where US courts went horribly wrong. For example Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company which established constitutional rights for corporations in 1886. I want a chief justice who "get it right".
Stare decisis is a fancy Latin term that stands for a bedrock proposition of U.S. law: that the Supreme Court will uphold precedent and not disturb settled law without special justification. As Justice Thurgood Marshall explained for the court in 1986, stare decisis is the "means by which we ensure that the law will not merely change erratically, but will develop in a principled and intelligible fashion."
Court watchers know that Scalia's statement about Thomas goes to the heart of a jurisprudential chasm that separates the court's two most conservative justices. Scalia is fiercely conservative, but by and large he judges within the parameters of the rules laid down by predecessors. Thomas rarely appears to feel so confined.
The proof is in 35 lone Thomas opinions that express a willingness to reexamine a breathtaking range of well-settled constitutional law. A little-known but telling example is a 1998 opinion by Thomas that expresses a willingness to reexamine the court's opinion in Calder v. Bull, which decided that the Constitution's prohibition against retroactive punishments applies only to criminal (not civil) laws. Regardless of what one thinks of the merits of the case, it is a unanimous 1798 opinion by the court that has not been seriously challenged in more than 200 years. It is the dictionary definition of established case law.
Far better known is Thomas's concurrence in United States v. Lopez, where, alone among the justices, he expressed a willingness to reexamine fundamental aspects of the court's jurisprudence under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution