Thomas dissented from the Court's denial of certiorari, in a case in which the placement on public land of large crosses to commemorate the deaths of highway patrol officers was ruled unconstitutional. Thomas criticized the lack of clarity and indeterminacy of the Court's tests for whether such a display violated the First Amendment, and noted what he saw as the confusion and contradictions this caused in lower court rulings. "It is difficult to imagine an area of the law more in need of clarity," Thomas wrote, urging the Court to address this problem even if it did not adopt his view that the Establishment Clause only applied to the Federal Government and only prohibited "actual legal coercion."
Thomas concurred in the Court's vacatur and remand of a District Court's interim redistricting map for Texas, a state that was subject to preclearance requirements for state redistricting plans under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. While the Court's decision was based upon the District Court's departures from the state's plan that were not based upon legal flaws or other clear standards, Thomas instead believed that section 5 was unconstitutional. Texas should, therefore, have been able to implement its proposed redistricting map for the 2012 election, unless and until there was a finding against it under the alleged violations of section 2 of the Voting Rights Act or the U.S. Constitution.