Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas, 1948–, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1991–), b. Pin Point (Savannah), Ga. Raised in a poor family, he graduated (1974) from the Yale Law School and became a prominent black conservative active in Republican causes. He chaired the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1982–90) during the Reagan and Bush administrations, and attempted there to modify the application of federal affirmative action guidelines. In 1990 he was appointed a judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In July, 1991, President George H. W. Bush nominated Thomas to the Supreme Court, to replace Thurgood Marshall. In Oct., 1991, when approval was all but assured, the Senate Judiciary Committee reopened confirmation hearings to examine charges by Anita Hill, a Univ. of Oklahoma law professor, that Thomas had subjected her to sexual harassment while she was an EEOC employee in the 1980s. Testimony and debate on the charges, followed by a nationwide television audience and revealing deep divisions among the public, did not in the end change the committee's recommendation for approval, and Thomas was confirmed by a full Senate vote of 52 to 48. Taking his seat, he aligned himself with Antonin Scalia, forming the Court's most conservative grouping.

See his memoir (2007).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The American Dream in Black and White: The Clarence Thomas Hearings
Jane Flax.
Cornell University Press, 1999
Critical Judicial Nominations and Political Change: The Impact of Clarence Thomas
Christopher E. Smith.
Praeger Publishers, 1993
The Next "Great Dissenter"? How Clarence Thomas Is Using the Words and Principles of John Marshall Harlan to Craft a New Era of Civil Rights
Weiner, Hannah L.
Duke Law Journal, Vol. 58, No. 1, October 2008
Feminism, the Public and the Private
Joan B. Landes.
Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Sex, Lies, and the Public Sphere: Reflections on the Confirmation of Clarence Thomas"
The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions
Leon Friedman; Fred L. Israel.
Chelsea House, vol.5, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Clarence Thomas" begins on p. 1830
Distinguished African American Political and Governmental Leaders
James Haskins.
Oryx Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Clarence Thomas" begins on p. 236
Othello Goes to Washington: Cultural Politics and the Thomas/Hill Affair
Russo, Peggy Anne.
Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA), Vol. 17, No. 4, Winter 1994
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Where, but for the Grace of God, Goes He? the Search for Empathy in the Criminal Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas
Muller, Eric L.
Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 15, No. 2, Summer 1998
Black and Right: The Bold New Voice of Black Conservatives in America
Stan Faryna; Brad Stetson; Joseph G. Conti.
Praeger, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "No Room at the Inn: The Loneliness of the Black Conservative" by Clarence Thomas
Color, Class, Identity: The New Politics of Race
John Arthur; Amy Shaprio.
Westview Press, 1996
On Justice Clarence Thomas
Smith, Stephen F.
The Public Interest, No. 124, Summer 1996
Be Not Afraid
Thomas, Clarence.
The American Enterprise, Vol. 12, No. 3, April 2001
Culture Reformers Must Either Put Up or Shut Up
Thomas, Clarence.
Insight on the News, Vol. 17, No. 11, March 19, 2001
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