(Race) Blind Justice

One of my favorite conservative commentators, Thomas Sowell, has a great column today about one of my favorite Judges, Clarence Thomas.

It is hard to believe that it was exactly 16 years ago that many a conservative of my generation sat riveted to the TV screen during Thomas’ confirmation hearings.  We didn’t quite remember the Bork hearings, but we knew that the experience of Judge Bork made the Thomas hearings that much more important.  The overreach by the left (and their Democrat allies in the Senate) are largely forgotten, but there is no doubt that the Thomas hearings were in the minds of voters in the 1994 elections (particularly after seeing the judicial picks of Clinton).

Here are a few excerpts of the Sowell piece, but it is worth reading the entire thing:

In an era when too many judges, including justices of the Supreme Court, seem to be playing to the media gallery — if not writing opinions or leaking information with an eye toward favorable coverage in the press — Justice Thomas’s refusal to play that game tells us a lot about him.His memoir tells us more. Born in material poverty beyond anything experienced even by people on welfare today, Clarence Thomas was raised with an abundance of discipline and character-building that would pay off in later life…

The other great myth about Justice Thomas is that he is a lonely and embittered man, withdrawn from the world, as a result of the brutal confirmation hearings he went through back in 1991.

Clarence Thomas was never a social butterfly. You didn’t see his name in the society pages or at media events, either before he got on the High Court or afterward.

In reality, Justice Thomas has been all over the place, giving talks, especially to young people, and inviting some of them to his offices at the Supreme Court.

Summers find him driving his own bus all around the country, mixing with people at truck stops, trailer parks, and mall parking lots. The fact that he is not out grandstanding for the media does not mean that he is hunkering down in his cellar.
Clarence Thomas’s sense of humor is terrific. Whenever I am on the phone with someone and laughing repeatedly, my wife usually asks me afterward, “Was that Clarence?” It usually is.

Now, thanks to his book, the public can get to know the man himself, rather than the cardboard image created by the media.

Thomas is misunderstood, and still hated by the left.  But he wears that disdain as a badge of honor, because every day that he walks into the Supreme Court he knows that he can be a force for good, and the leftist who tried to destroy him can do nothing about it.  He is a consistent voice of reason and a true constructionist on the court.  And we are a better nation to have him there.


  1. Richard C. Foy says

    The most intellectual people in the world can write and debate racism until “_ _ _ l freezes over, but until African Americans and others decide to begin living now and not in the past; i.e, Clarence Thomas, et. al, they will continue to loose status and job opportunities. This is no different than any person who continues to bring up the past and blame others for there inequality. The sooner the leaders of the African American communities, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others, stop trying to create discord over one minor incident after another; i.e., Duke Lacrosse, Jene 6, they will increase racism not decrease it.

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