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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Clarence Thomas: Selected full-text books and articles

Clarence Thomas: A Biography By Andrew Peyton Thomas Encounter Books, 2002
Feminism, the Public and the Private By 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 By 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 By James Haskins Oryx Press, 1999
Librarian's tip: "Clarence Thomas" begins on p. 236
Black and Right: The Bold New Voice of Black Conservatives in America By 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
Disparate Treatment: Justice Clarence Thomas's Conspicuously Nonoriginalist Affirmative Action Jurisprudence By Turner, Ronald Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, Vol. 19, No. 2, Spring 2014
Write Separately: Justice Clarence Thomas's "Race Opinions" on the Supreme Court By TerBeek, Calvin J Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, Vol. 11, No. 2, Spring 2006
Be Not Afraid By Thomas, Clarence The American Enterprise, Vol. 12, No. 3, April 2001
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