Tamara Tabo writes at Above the Law.
Liberal critics frequently bash Thomas for haplessly following the lead of fellow conservative Justices such as Antonin Scalia, unable to form reasoned opinions on his own.
Thomas’s many dissents belie the criticism that he marches in lockstep. This Term, he holds the weakest voting relationships of any Justice with his or her fellow Justices. His rate of disagreement with Justice Sonia Sotomayor — currently 57% — is the weakest voting relationship of any two Justices on the Court. Even his agreement rates with Scalia and Roberts amount only to 77% and 66%, respectively — far cries from the 90+% relationships between some other Justices.
…Thomas’s dissents often represent radical departures from the fundamental approach of the rest of the Court. He’s not quibbling over factual judgment calls. He’s often applying an entirely different method of deciding the case. > …Clarence Thomas is either unafraid of correcting bad precedent, or he is flagrantly disrespectful of stare decisis, depending upon how one looks at it. His fidelity to text might seem downright obsessive, even to a fellow originalist like Justice Scalia. Thomas has the tunnel vision of a man sure of his method, regardless of what his colleagues see. I've long appreciated Justice Thomas. He doesn't write with the wit and sarcasm of Justice Scalia. But his opinions are always principled and well reasoned.
I love his willingness to go with what's right, regardless of the precedent established by the errors of previous courts. When it comes to upholding the Constitution as written, Justice Thomas has no peers.