Born June 23, 1948 in the Pinpoint community, near Savannah, Georgia. Married Virginia Lamp, May 30, 1987. Child: Jamal Adeen. Education
Conception Seminary, 1967-1968: Holy Cross College, A.B. cum laude. Alpha Sigma Nu, Purple Key. Yale Law School, J.D., 1974.
Admitted to Missouri Bar 1974. Attorney, Monsanto Company, 1977-1979.
Assistant Attorney General of Missouri, 1974-1977; Legislative assistant to Senator John C. Danforth of Missouri, 1979-1981; Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1981-1982; Chairman U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Com mission 1982-1990.
Nominated by President Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: took oath of office, March 12, 1990. Nominated by President Bush as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court: took oath of office October 23, 1991.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says in a memoir that went on sale on Monday that "left-wing zealots" pursued him during his 1991 confirmation hearings with "the age-old blunt instrument of accusing a black man of sexual misconduct."
In "My Grandfather's Son," Thomas denounces his former aide, Anita Hill, who accused him of sexual harassment, for betraying him. He also condemns the liberal interest groups who opposed him because he says they feared he would vote to overturn abortion rights.
"The mob I now faced carried no ropes or guns. Its weapons were smooth-tongued lies spoken into microphones and printed on the front pages of America's newspapers," he says of the hearings.
"But it was a mob all the same and its purpose -- to keep the black man in his place -- was unchanged," says Thomas, 59, a conservative and the second black to serve on the Supreme Court.
Thomas reportedly was paid a $1.5 million advance for the 289-page book, which is currently No. 2 on Amazon.com's bestseller list. Its release was timed to coincide with the opening of the Supreme Court's new term.
The sensational charges by Hill resulted in one of the most contentious Senate confirmation battles in history, engulfing the entire nation in a debate over sexual harassment.
Hill, a law professor, charged that Thomas had badgered her for dates and offended her with sexually explicit talk when she was his aide at a government agency from 1981 to 1983.
A furious Thomas denied all the charges and raised his own countercharges of racism and victimization. He denounced the hearing as "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks."
In his book, Thomas says that as a child growing up in the South, he feared the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux Klan.
"My worst fears had come to pass not in Georgia, but in Washington, D.C., where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes, but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony," he wrote.
President George H.W. Bush in 1991 nominated Thomas to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Thurgood Marshall, a liberal, a civil rights crusader and the first black on the court.
Thomas says that Hill during the hearings had been falsely transformed into a conservative, devoutly religious Reagan administration employee.
Thomas said that only three employees from the agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, would support Hill's version, and all of them had been fired or left on bad terms.
Thomas also writes that he encountered racism when he was studying to be a Roman Catholic priest in the late 1960s. He left the seminary, disillusioned with his faith and the church's silence on the treatment of blacks in America.
"I have often thought that my life might well have followed a different route had the church been as adamant about ending racism then as it is about ending abortion now" he writes.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas condemned suggestions that he follows the lead of fellow conservative Antonin Scalia, telling an audience Thursday the notion is based on a racial stereotype.
The current court's only black justice said critics accuse him of picking up cues from Scalia, an Italian-American known as the court's most conservative member.
"Obviously, what it's based on is that I'm black and I'm supposed to think in a certain way," said Thomas, responding to an audience member's question about how he arrives at his judicial opinions. "And there's no way, since I'm not supposed to think that way, that I can come up with that myself, so I must be following somebody. You make your own judgments about that line of reasoning."
Thomas was speaking at the Atlanta Press Club to promote his book "My Grandfather's Son."
Thomas chided reporters for using a "template" to paint his decisions and some biographers for being "malicious."
"There were some people who aren't ready for a black person on the court who they don't think should think they way I did," he said.
Thomas also expressed concern that political discussion in America is eroding.
"We've turned everything into disagreements, into a contest," he said. "If this person doesn't agree with me, he's a liar; he's a bad person. How does this advance the discussion?"
No question provoked a quicker response from Thomas than when he was asked which of his fellow justices he would least like to argue against.
"I'm not answering that," he said to laughter. "You got to remember when this whole book thing is done, I've got to get back to work."
WASHINGTON - Two years and 142 cases have passed since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas last spoke up at oral arguments. It is a period of unbroken silence that contrasts with the rest of the court's unceasing inquiries.
Hardly a case goes by without eight justices peppering lawyers with questions. Oral arguments offer justices the chance to resolve nagging doubts about a case, probe its weaknesses or make a point to their colleagues.
Left, right and center, the justices ask and they ask and they ask. Sometimes they debate each other, leaving the lawyer at the podium helpless to jump in. "I think you're handling these questions very well," Chief Justice John Roberts quipped to a lawyer recently in the midst of one such exchange.
Leaning back in his leather chair, often looking up at the ceiling, Thomas takes it all in, but he never joins in.
He occasionally leans to his right to share a comment or a laugh with Justice Stephen Breyer. Less often, he talks to Justice Anthony Kennedy, to his immediate left.
Thomas, characteristically, declined to comment for this article. But in the course of his publicity tour for his autobiography, "My Grandfather's Son," the 59-year-old justice discussed his reticence on the bench on several occasions.
The questions may be helpful to the others, Thomas said, but not to him.
"One thing I've demonstrated often in 16 years is you can do this job without asking a single question," he told an adoring crowd at the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.
The book tour showed that the topic comes up even among friendly audiences.
Indeed, Thomas' comment was provoked by this question: Why do your colleagues ask so many questions?
His response: "I did not plant that question. That's a fine question. When you figure out the answer, you let me know," he said.
The typical hourlong argument session can sometimes be difficult, even for a practiced questioner.
"I really would like to hear what those reasons are without interruption from all of my colleagues," Justice John Paul Stevens said at an argument in the fall.
The newest justice, Samuel Alito, has said he initially found it hard to get a question in sometimes amid all the former law professors on the court.
The last time Thomas asked a question in court was Feb. 22, 2006, in a death penalty case out of South Carolina. A unanimous court eventually broadened the ability of death-penalty defendants to blame someone else for the crime.
In the past, the Georgia-born Thomas has chalked up his silence to his struggle as a teenager to master standard English after having grown up speaking Geechee, a kind of dialect that thrived among former slaves on the islands off the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts.
He also has said he will ask a pertinent question if his colleagues don't but sees no need to engage in the back-and-forth just to hear his own voice.
Lately, he has focused on the latter reason.
"If I think a question will help me decide a case, then I'll ask that question," he told C-SPAN's Brian Lamb in October. "Otherwise, it's not worth asking because it detracts from my job."
He talked in that same interview about descriptions of him as the silent justice.
"I can't really say that it's unfair to say that I'm silent in that context. I would like to, though, be referred to as the 'listening justice,' you know," Thomas said. "I still believe that, if somebody else is talking, somebody should be listening."
The following month, however, at an event sponsored by Hillsdale College in Michigan, Thomas was more combative when asked about oral arguments.
Conservative views rendering him that much less objectionable, it need be pointed out that Mr. Justice Thomas is NOT the sharpest knife in the drawer ..... Borck would have been by far the better appointee, just on the bases of judicial acumen and legal scholarship alone ...
seriously: I think Obama should have made them liquidate all their assets both business AND PERSONAL so they could climb over their own pile of s***; instead of expecting the American tax payers to do it.
Sept 1, 2019 20:35:38 GMT -5
seriously: Wake up people! Don't you realize that WE THE PEOPLE don't need the rich, THEY NEED US...to do the work that makes them richer so they don't have to clean their own toilets; and all we get is industrialized meats and crops, GMO's, antibiotic resistance.
Sept 1, 2019 20:38:53 GMT -5
seriously: Patented seed crops, running small farmer's out of business, toxic waste, poisoned water, dirty air, deforestation, global warming. By the way, who even wants to live in a GLOBAL GOVERNMENT world with a GLOBAL ECONOMY?
Sept 1, 2019 20:41:57 GMT -5
seriously: America should be more like Switzerland, fix our own 'broken wagon' and let the rest of the world fix theirs...it's not an U.S.A. problem. Screw oil, it pollutes the earth...GO SOLAR, WIND, WATER POWER! Screw the utility companies!
Sept 1, 2019 20:48:33 GMT -5
seriously: That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Best way to topple the rich...eliminate money and go back to the barter system; let the rich wipe their own bums and clean their own toilets...for a change! No more "Groom of the stool" for them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:51:50 GMT -5
seriously: Then banks and wall street can crash all they want; why should we be dragged down with them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:53:16 GMT -5
alanthony 007: hi, its alanthony; attorney " bartner and solicitor " for Miss Darlie Routier. I was out of town working on a high profile case. I'm back with an unusual part of the Law that will set my client free, so shall we proceed. first, everyone must listen to
Nov 27, 2019 20:52:02 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: Walter Barton (Arkie) has been on Missouri's capital punishment row for many, many years. He has been through 5 trials! Each time is guilty. He'll finally go to hell on May 19, 2020...
Feb 22, 2020 20:23:42 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: This site has a locked ARKIE BOARD shouting out his innocence. Shout it out to the devil that his son will be home soon...
Feb 22, 2020 20:25:41 GMT -5
alanthony 008: why would anyone give a s*** about Barton, he is convicted of killing a nobody, and he,s one too.
Mar 20, 2020 4:19:50 GMT -5
alanthony 008: you know.. two pieces of tailor trash, its a waist were even typing about it .. so off he goes, who cares.
Mar 20, 2020 4:30:41 GMT -5