Thomas Marks Twenty Years on the Court
Posted in Courts by Julie Ponzi
One of the first "jobs" assigned to me as a young undergraduate attempting to earn my keep around the Ashbrook Center was to do some research for one of my professors about a man named Clarence Thomas. Thomas was then being considered for an appointment to DC Court of Appeals and my professor, a former clerk at the Supreme Court, was asked to write a letter in support of the appointment. So when, only a year and some change later, Thomas was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court, I could not have been more delighted. Having read a good deal of his writing and learned about the way his mind worked, I knew that Thomas would not have an equal on the Court. I knew he would be one of the great Justices of all time. Then came the hearings. And when first they could not make case that Thomas was unqualified, they took the other--now infamous--route. It was a great lesson about the way that the Left in America works. They knew that they had much to fear from this man--that he could undo a great deal of the twisting and turning of Constitutional jurisprudence it had taken them generations to execute and pass off as authentic interpretation. Ken Masugi
, who worked for Thomas during the time that he was Chairman of the EEOC, writes a thoughtful and thought provoking tribute to Justice Thomas as this October marks the twentieth anniversary of his appointment to the Court. In it, Masugi notes the ways in which even Thomas' greatest critics must now concede his massive import and influence on the Court. May it continue for many, many years to come.
9:47 PM / October 7, 2011
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Ken's article on Thomas is right on the money. Thomas as a person is as warm as his enthusiasm for fundamental principles. The paragraph below has special significance for all who wonder if their education will have significant consequences.
(Finally, Thomas adds to these experiences an appreciation for the scholarship of the politics of freedom. As he says in his memoir, his work with political theorists while he was EEOC Chairman helped free him "from the mind-numbing effects of the daily grind of running a government agency." )