|A guide to|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
“”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
“”I’m not a nut.
|—Antonin Scalia, indirectly calling Thomas a nut for wanting to overturn every Supreme Court ruling that he didn't like|
Clarence Thomas (1948–) is a radical wingnut, homophobe, diversity hire, and member of the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS). He is also the second African American to be elevated to the Supreme Court (he succeeded the first, Thurgood Marshall). In his early years, he was seen as little more than an echo of Antonin Scalia (as of 2014, Scalia and Thomas voted together 91% of the time), the most conservative member of the court. However, over the years, Thomas has become more vocal and started staking out positions often further to the right than even Scalia.
With regard to the Constitution, Thomas regards himself as a strict adherent to originalism, that the Constitution should not be interpreted through the lens of modern times, but through the Constitution as it was in 1789. This is despite, as Thomas acknowledged, the fact that the Founding Fathers were racists and slaveholders.:7-8 Thomas' record shows, however, that his originalism is episodic and hardly strict.:151-152
Justice Thomas hasn't been big on giving the world glimpses into his thought processes. With alarming consistency, he cosigned whatever Nino said, with no further comment. Like a solar eclipse or the bloom of a corpse flower, the release of an actual opinion from Justice Thomas is a rare event noteworthy for that fact alone. Perhaps we should all be grateful the man does not attempt self-expression on a more regular basis. (Gay marriage is worse than slavery!
|—Corey Robin, Thomas' biographer:163|
George H.W. Bush could've nominated Chris Rock to the SCOTUS and gotten him on the bench, as he was still high on his post-Gulf War victory and approval ratings. Unfortunately, Thomas was less qualified than Chris Rock to be nominated for the court. It's almost as if it was a purely-political appointment designed to help wage the GOP's culture wars without any regard to the court's proper function or purpose.
During his confirmation hearings, Anita Hill, a former clerk of his, stepped forward and claimed to have been sexually harassed by Thomas. Conservatives blasted her, even calling her "a little bit slutty and a little bit nutty." Many liberals rallied to her defense, especially women's groups. In the end, despite a Democratic majority in the Senate, Thomas was approved for the Supreme Court. Many said that Ted Kennedy, a high-ranking member of the Judiciary Committee who played a key role in spiking the nomination of the similarly extreme conservative judge Robert Bork just a few years earlier, was personally unable to do anything about Thomas due to his own marital issues in that area.
On February 22, 2006, he spoke from the bench. He didn't say a word from there to any lawyer until 2013 when he responded to Justice Scalia's comment about a lawyer attending Yale Law school. Thomas said, "Well, he did not." Although some say he purposely said that, others think he was really making a side joke to Antonin Scalia. Whatever it is, Thomas has not asked a question from the bench in court. For over 10 years he has done nothing but stare at the ceiling. Thomas' written record is quite voluminous, so one can find out what he thinks (and it's quite ugly).:1-16 It may be that he just chooses not to ask questions because he doesn't want to know the answers as his mind is already made up. It is a nice ceiling. So, in fifty years, when your grandchildren ask you, "Did Clarence Thomas do a good job?" you can answer "Well, he did not."
Corruption — So What!
Thomas is perhaps the most corrupt Supreme Court justice in recent memory. He has spent 20 years filing false financial statements, a crime that he will likely never be convicted of due to his position of power and the political gridlock in Congress. Furthermore, he did not recuse himself from the Citizens United case despite Citizens United having spent $100,000 on his behalf to support his nomination to the court.
Virginia "Ginni" Thomas (Clarence Thomas's wife) received $686,589 in salary from the right-wing Heritage Foundation between 2003 and 2007. He failed to disclose this originally, answering "none" on a form asking about his spouse's non-investment income. The Los Angeles Times and Common Cause reported about it in 2011. Clarence Thomas claimed that this was "inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions", which Bob Edgar of Common Cause called "implausible".
Thomas is a close friend of real estate magnate Harlan Crow, a major Republican donor, member of the American Enterprise Institute, and donor to the Federalist Society; this relationship, and the gifts and largesse Crow has showered on Thomas, has caused ethical concerns as far back as 2011. In April 2023, it was revealed that during Thomas's Supreme Court tenure, Crow frequently took Thomas on private luxury trips using his private super-yacht and his private jet airplane to places like Crow's private resort in the Adirondacks, visits to the Bohemian Grove, and other locations around the world. These trips appeared nowhere on Thomas's financial disclosures, potentially violating the law. Additionally, in May 2023, it was revealed that Crow had paid at least some of the private boarding school tuition fees[note 2] for a grandnephew of Thomas named Mark Martin (whom Thomas had taken custody of); this also was not disclosed in the annual financial statements of Thomas. Thomas originally did disclose some of these gifts from Crow; however, he ceased disclosing them after the Los Angeles Times reported on them in a 2004 article. Thomas also failed to disclose a 2014 real estate deal in which Crow purchased multiple properties from Thomas and his family.
Crow is also a Hitler fetishist, which does not in-and-of-itself make him a Nazi. He has a room in his house that is full of original Hitler artifacts, including an autographed copy of Mein Kampf. Although the items are stored in a museum-type setting, as would befit a billionaire, there is essentially no context or curation, leaving the casual viewer to draw their own conclusions about intent. According to one viewer, there was one painting "done by George W. Bush next to a Norman Rockwell next to one by Hitler," in what could charitably be described as a kitsch triptych.
Thomas for president?
In 2012, some Republicans, not thrilled with the crop of candidates, began suggesting that should the nomination come down to a brokered convention, Thomas would be a possible choice for president. In retrospect, they could have done worse.
Thomas was one of many Supreme Court Justices to have officiated at a wedding, his gig being the marriage of Rush Limbaugh and "aerobics instructor" Marta Maranda Fitzgerald on 27 May 1994. The wedding was held in Thomas's home in Virginia. The couple divorced in 2004. Thomas also attended Limbaugh's next wedding to Kathryn Rogers in June 2010, but he was not working that one, just partying.
Better displays of Thomas
On 18 June 2015, Thomas joined his Supreme Court liberal colleagues in ruling in favor of Texas rejecting license plate designs that feature the Confederate flag. A Texas board found "a significant portion of the public associate the Confederate flag with organizations advocating expressions of hate directed toward people or groups".
Thomas has also argued that the federal government cannot ban medical marijuana, although he believes this for reasons of state's rights and not because he personally favors the policy.
“”Nostalgia usually burnishes the past in sunlight; Thomas's nostalgia is bathed in darkness.
Corey Robin, in his book The Enigma of Clarence Thomas, argued that Thomas's ultra-conservatism is fundamentally rooted in black nationalist ideas, specifically a belief that racism is too deep-rooted in the white American psyche to even try to correct, leading him to conclude that black people should be establishing self-reliance separate from white America and that measures supporting racial integration ultimately amount to "white paternalism" that leave black people worse off. Thomas's black nationalism is one that is misogynist and sees the role of the black woman as subservient to the black man.:28,150
Thomas's views of the Constitution are rooted in a tension between what Robin calls the "White Constitution" (the original Constitution of 1787 plus the Bill of Rights of 1789) and the "Black Constitution" (the Constitution through the three Reconstruction amendments).:168 This tension supports Thomas's idealized view of his grandfather's time. Myers Anderson (1907–1983), who raised him as his son, spent most of his life (and most of Thomas's formative years) in the Jim Crow South where the Reconstruction amendments had been effectively nullified. Thomas's dystopian view of African American life is that all that is needed to protect the African American family is the First (particularly commercial speech) and Second Amendments (gun ownership):129-131,182 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Nonetheless, these protections did nothing to protect African Americans from the 1921 Tulsa race massacre that wiped out an entire African American business district or from the long and ugly history of lynchings. Thomas has written in SCOTUS judgments that the Eighth Amendment ("no cruel or unusual punishment") does not apply to states and that the Eighth Amendment only applies to penalties (time served) and not to how prisoners are treated after they are incarcerated.:197-198 Given the high rates of African American imprisonment, this is effectively a States' rights-type argument that enables white supremacy.:215-218 In Thomas' worldview, the harsh punishment and policing that he supports helps to protect African American neighborhoods from crime,:209 it is a sort of immanentizing of dystopia.
Thomas wrote the dissenting opinion in the New York healthcare worker lawsuit that demanded a religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate. In the dissent, Thomas repeated the anti-vaxxer claim that "all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.":1-2 While it is true that vaccine research has based upon the HEK cell line that originally came from an aborted fetus, it is also true that the vast majority of modern medicines are based on research on the HEK cell line, so it is likely that Thomas himself has benefited from these medicines and vaccines. Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch signed onto this anti-science opinion.
In Thomas' concurring opinion in Box v. Planned Parenthood, he falsely claimed that the modern birth control movement was linked to the American eugenics movement, further intimating that it was a form of the black genocide conspiracy theory. Thomas repeated these false claims in his concurring opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson that struck down Roe v. Wade, disregarding stare decisis.
Black and white together
“”♫Black and white together.
♫We must love one another.
Thomas was among the first group of African Americans to integrate into the College of the Holy Cross in 1968. Thomas and his classmates formed the Black Student Union.:13,26-27 One of the points in their manifesto was::26-27
“”The black man does not want or need the white woman. The Black man's history shows that the white woman is the cause of this failure to be the true Black man.
Thomas was known to be particularly strident about anti-miscegenation, even to the point of verbally harassing interracial couples on campus.:27 Thomas was, in fact, opposed to interracial marriage up until he met his white second wife-to-be, Ginni Thomas. This might not be so remarkable by itself; over time, people fall in love, change their minds, become less strident, etc.. However, Thomas has overall maintained his masculinist black nationalist worldview while his wife has increasingly become involved in far-right politics, including associating with white nationalists (NumbersUSA), spreading a deep state-type conspiracy, and paying for bus transportation to the rally preceding the almost all-white 2021 U.S. coup attempt.
Clarence has referred to his marriage to Ginni as extremely close politically, stating in 2011:
“”We are equally yoked, and we love being with each other because we love the same things. We believe in the same things. So, with my wife, and with the people around me, what I see, I’m reinforced that we are focused on defending liberty. So, I admire her and I love her for that because it keeps me going.
This raises the corruption issue again because Ginni Thomas is now being investigated for her involvement in trying to overturn the 2020 U.S. presidential election by trying to influence then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, indicating QAnon ideology and using schizofascism.[note 3] Clarence Thomas has already refused to recuse himself on a January 6 coup attempt case before the Supreme Court in which he was the sole dissenter, and it seems unlikely that he would do so should a case directly involving his wife come before the court.
Ginni Thomas was on Turning Point USA's advisory council as of 2017. Despite rumors to the contrary, there is no evidence that she paid for >80 TPUSA-sponsored buses to go to Washington for the coup.
- Brett Kavanaugh, similar ideology, similar sexual misconduct controversy, but this time with beer
- Malcolm X — one of Thomas' inspirations:2-3,21-38
- "Corey Robin: The Enigma of Clarence Thomas", audio discussion by Politics & Prose about Robin's book on Thomas
- ↑ Lying under oath to Congress is a felony.
- ↑ The two boarding schools in question were Hidden Lake Academy and Randolph-Macon Academy, the latter being Crow's alma mater. In the case of Hidden Lake Academy, tuition fees ran more than $6000 a month; although the exact total Crow covered was not clear to ProPublica, their report estimated that if Crow picked up the tab for all four years at the two schools, the price tag could have exceeded $150,000.
- ↑ Prior to joining Cult 45, Ginni Thomas admitted that she was also a member of cult in the 1980s, Lifespring, an organization inspired by Erhard Seminars Training.
- ↑ Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt (May 17, 2010) Quote Investigator.
- ↑ A Jeffersonian for the Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch’s record suggests a willingness to transform the law and to enforce constitutional limitations on the excesses of Congress and the president. by Jeffrey Rosen (February 1, 2017) The Atlantic.
- ↑ Thomas calls for overturning precedents on contraceptives, LGBTQ rights by Harper Neidig (06/24/22 11:08 AM ET) The Hill.
- ↑ Which Supreme Court Justices Vote Together Most and Least Often by Jeremy Bowers et al. (July 3, 2014) The New York Times.
- ↑ Scalia Was Almost Never The Most Conservative Justice On The Supreme Court by Andrew D. Martin & Kevin M. Quinn (Feb. 15, 2016, at 10:17 AM) FiveThirtyEight.
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 The Enigma of Clarence Thomas by Corey Robin (2019) Metropolitan Books. ISBN 1627793836.
- ↑ )"Justice Clarence Thomas's anti-gay-marriage argument is that slavery wasn't so bad", Aaron Sankin
- ↑ Lewis, Neil A., "Bar Association Splits on Fitness Of Thomas for the Supreme Court", NYT 8.29.91.
- ↑ A Perjurer on the US Supreme Court, consortiumnews.com, October 23, 2010
- ↑ Clarence Thomas Speaks, Finally by Jeffrey Toobin (January 14, 2013) The New Yorker.
- ↑ Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks After Almost 7 Years Of Silence by Mike Sacks (01/14/2013 02:54 pm ET; Updated Jan 16, 2013) Huffington Post.
- ↑ "It's Been 10 Years. Would Clarence Thomas Like to Add Anything?" by Adam Liptak (2.1.16) The New York Times.
- ↑ Clarence Thomas is a portrait of political bribery (May 24, 2011 · 10:30 AM PDT) Daily Kos.
- ↑ Clarence Thomas Fails To Disclose Citizens United In-Kind Contributions
- ↑ Kim Geiger (January 22, 2011). "Clarence Thomas failed to report wife’s income, watchdog says. The Los Angeles Times.
- ↑ Darragh Roche (September 29, 2022). "Clarence Thomas Failing to Note Wife Ginni's $680k Side Income Resurfaces". Newsweek.
- ↑ Eric Lichtblau (January 24, 2011). "Thomas Cites Failure to Disclose Wife's Job". The New York Times. (Archived).
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 "Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire" by Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott and Alex Mierjeski, ProPublica, 2023 April 6
- ↑ "Friendship of Justice and Magnate Puts Focus on Ethics" by Mike McIntire, New York Times, 2011 June 18
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 "Clarence Thomas Had a Child in Private School. Harlan Crow Paid the Tuition." by Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott and Alex Mierjeski, ProPublica, 2023 May 4
- ↑ David G. Savage (April 6, 2023). "Los Angeles Times reported about Justice Thomas’ gifts 20 years ago. After that he stopped disclosing them". The Los Angeles Times.
- ↑ Justin Elliott, Joshua Kaplan, and Alex Mierjeski (April 13, 2023). "Billionaire Harlan Crow Bought Property From Clarence Thomas. The Justice Didn’t Disclose the Deal." ProPublica.
- ↑ Ashraf Khalil (April 14, 2023). "Justice Thomas failed to report real estate deal with Texas mega donor". The Associated Press.
- ↑ Devan Cole (April 14, 2023). "Justice Clarence Thomas failed to disclose 2014 real estate deal with GOP megadonor, ProPublica report finds". CNN.
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 Clarence Thomas’s Billionaire Benefactor Collects Hitler Artifacts: Harlan Crow also reportedly has a garden full of dictator statues. by Sylvie McNamara (April 7, 2023) Washingtonian.
- ↑ The Daily Beast: Clarence Thomas Is a Long Shot for President, But His Candidacy Makes a Lot of Sense
- ↑ Supreme Court Justices Officiate Lots of Weddings, Harrison Smith, Washingtonian 18 May 2015
- ↑ Five Supreme Court justices who have officiated at weddings by Ryan Teague Beckwith (March 27, 2013) The Denver Post (archived from 3 Jun 2015 19:39:34 UTC).
- ↑ The Marriages of Rush Limbaugh by Sheri & Bob Stritof, About.com (archived from August 20, 2007).
- ↑ Supreme Court: Texas doesn’t have to allow Confederate flag license plates by Robert Barnes (June 18, 2015) The Washington Post.
- ↑ Clarence Thomas Joins Supreme Court Liberals in Ruling Against Confederate Flag Rights by Pema Levy (June 18, 2015) Mother Jones.
- ↑ Gonzales V. Raich by Clarence Thomas (June 6, 2005) "Legal Information Institute".
- ↑ Illing, Sean. "The enigma of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas." Vox, 15 October 2019 (recovered 15 October 2019).
- ↑ The Supreme Court Justice With The Most To Say (November 8, 2019) On the Media.
- ↑ Myers Anderson Find A Grave.
- ↑ My Grandfather's Son by Clarence Thomas (2007) Harper. ISBN 9780060565558.
- ↑ See the Wikipedia article on Incarceration in the United States.
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 Dr. A. et al. v. Kathy Hochschul, Governor of New York et al. Supreme Court.
- ↑ Justice Thomas cites claim that Covid vaccines are made with cells from 'aborted children': Thomas cited the claim in a dissent to the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up a challenge by health care workers who opposed New York's vaccine mandate on religious grounds. by Adam Edelman & Aria Bendix (June 30, 2022, 9:58 AM PDT) NBC News.
- ↑ 40.0 40.1 If any drug tested on HEK-293 is immoral, goodbye modern medicine. by Matthew P. Schneider (January 28, 2021) Patheos.
- ↑ Footnote buried in leaked abortion opinion invokes 'modern-day eugenics' by Hassan Kanu (May 5, 20221:54 PM PDT) Reuters.
- ↑ Kristina Box, Commissioner, Indiana Department Of Health, et al. v. Planned Parenthood Of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., et al. (May 28, 2019) The Supreme Court of the United States.
- ↑ Clarence Thomas tried to link abortion to eugenics. Seven historians told The Post he’s wrong. by Eli Rosenberg (May 30, 2019 at 9:50 p.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
- ↑ Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department Of Health, et al. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization et al. (June 24, 2022) The Supreme Court of the United States.
- ↑ Ginni Thomas’ White House Meeting Was Just Another Grift: The Supreme Court justice's wife wants the president to hire more of her fringe, nativist friends. by Mark Joseph Stern (Jan 29, 20191:47 PM) Slate.
- ↑ Ginni Thomas apologizes to husband's Supreme Court clerks after Capitol riot fallout by Robert Barnes (Feb. 2, 2021 at 8:22 a.m. PST) The Washington Post.
- ↑ The Long Crusade of Clarence and Ginni Thomas: The Supreme Court justice and his wife battled for years for a more conservative America. New reporting shows how far she was willing to go after Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss. by Danny Hakim & Jo Becker (Published Feb. 22, 2022Updated Feb. 23, 2022) The New York Times Magazine.
- ↑ Defiant Clarence Thomas fires back by Kenneth P. Vogel (02/27/2011 01:22 PM EST) Politico.
- ↑ Virginia Thomas urged White House chief to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 election, texts show: In messages to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the weeks after Election Day, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called Biden’s victory ‘the greatest Heist of our History’ and told him that President Donald Trump should not concede by Bob Woodward & Robert Costa (March 24, 2022 at 5:15 p.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
- ↑ Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court? Behind closed doors, Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife is working with many groups directly involved in controversial cases before the Court. by Jane Mayer (January 21, 2022) The Washington Post.
- ↑ The untold story of Ginni Thomas' anti-cult activism — after she was 'deprogrammed' Ginni Thomas became an anti-cult activist after being pulled out of a self-help program in the 1980s, she said in a video obtained by NBC News. Several people who knew her then are surprised by her apparent embrace of election conspiracies that originated with QAnon. by Allan Smith & Alex Seitz-Wald (June 14, 2022, 3:10 AM PDT) NBC News.
- ↑ Ginni Thomas text-message controversy is a symptom of a deeper rot by James Downie (March 27, 2022) The Washington Post.
- ↑ A Conservative Nonprofit That Seeks to Transform College Campuses Faces Allegations of Racial Bias and Illegal Campaign Activity by Jane Mayer (December 21, 2017) The New Yorker.
- ↑ No, there is not evidence that Ginni Thomas paid for buses to bring people to the Capitol siege. by Linda Qiu (Jan. 11, 2021) The New York Times.
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