Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is reportedly outraged and may be heading down to New Orleans after his nephew, Derek Thomas, was punched and tasered at a Louisiana hospital after refusing to put on a gown.
Derek Thomas may have been admitted after a possible suicide attempt and suffered a “massive seizure.” When he refused to put on the gown and attempted to leave, he was reportedly punched by a security guard who also pulled out some of his hair. He was then tasered.
Derek is the son of Justice Thomas’ late younger brother Myer Lee Thomas and is a student at Nicholls State College.
It is an ironic twist given Thomas’ staunch voting record in favor of law enforcement interests and against the rights of people accused in criminal cases. In Safford v. Redding, for example, Thomas dismissed the claims of abuse stemming from the strip searching of a middle school girl to look for Ibuprofen. Thomas was the lone dissenter to claim that the search was both justified and the officials deserved both immunity and praise. He insisted the “[p]reservation of order, discipline, and safety in public schools is simply not the domain of the Constitution. And, common sense is not a judicial monopoly or a Constitutional imperative.”
Likewise, Thomas was not exactly sympathetic when citizens complained about being searched for fleeing from police. While not a hospital scene like that of his nephew, Thomas joined in the decision in Justice Thomas joined the Court’s decision in Illinois v. Wardlow when the Court held that running away from officers is the basis for reasonable suspicion and a search.