Jusice Thomas and Justice Washington

In my research, I’ve noticed that Bushrod Washington’s biggest fan in recent years is Justice Thomas. Justice Thomas has cited Washington by name in four opinions.

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe v. Lundgren (2018) (dissenting).

Johnson v. United States (2015) (concurring).

McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) (concurring).

Saenz v. Roe (1999) (dissenting).

Likewise, Justice Gorsuch cited Justice Washington twice just this year. Part of this simply reflects an originalist approach that gives relatively more weight to opinions written by Justices who were part of the ratifying process for the Constitution. We’ll see if the trend continues.

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