Clarence Thomas, the Maverick Justice:

USA Today observes that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has not been afraid to deviate from the majority of his fellow justices.

On Monday, the court avoided deciding if the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance are constitutional, ruling that the plaintiff had no standing in the case. Thomas, however, held that the Pledge’s words “under God” are constitutional, and more boldly suggested that the court should rethink the Establishment Clause to allow states to establish religions.

That same day, Thomas was the only dissenting voice in a sexual harassment case. The majority held that workers who quit due to “intolerable” harassment can sue their employers for wrongful termination, while Thomas, breaking with past rulings, said that employers should only be sued if found negligent.

The paper also reminds readers that during the 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush named Thomas as an example of the kind of justice he would appoint.