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Profiling Clarence Thomas, The Second African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice

 

Clarence Thomas is the United States Supreme Court’s second African-American justice, succeeding Thurgood Marshall.

Clarence Thomas, born in Savannah, Georgia on June 23, 1948, is an American judge, lawyer, and government official who currently serves as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Thomas is the second African-American to serve on the Supreme Court after Thurgood Marshall. Clarence grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and went to the College of the Holy Cross before attending Yale Law School. By 1974, he had been appointed as an Assistant Attorney General in Missouri, a position that also allowed him to practice law in the state’s private sector.

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In 1979, Thomas began working as a legislative assistant to Senator John Danforth (R-MO), and in 1981, he was named Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education. President Ronald Reagan appointed Thomas Clarence as Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1982. (EEOC).

President George W. Bush nominated Thomas for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1990, owing to his outstanding performance as a legal mind in previous administrations. He held that position for 16 months before being nominated by Bush to fill Marshall’s seat on the United States Supreme Court on July 1, 1991. Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings were contentious and heated, centered on allegations that he sexually harassed attorney Anita Hill, a subordinate at the Department of Education and later at the EEOC. Thomas was eventually confirmed by the United States Senate by a vote of 52 to 48.

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Thomas has taken a textualist approach since joining the Supreme Court, seeking to uphold the original meaning of the United States Constitution and statutes. He is widely regarded as the court’s most conservative member. Clarence is also well-known for rarely speaking during oral arguments. He is known for his calm and stoic demeanor during debates, as well as his conservative views that challenge or outperform those of his opponents.

As a Supreme Court justice, Thomas is well-known for his lack of questions during oral arguments, having not asked a single question since 2006. While many judges use questions to express their views on an issue or to communicate with the other justices about how they feel about a case, Thomas remains silent.

That does not prevent the other justices from deciphering his thoughts. Their predictions are guided by his conservative reputation. He has demonstrated that his opinions lean more to the right than any other justice on the bench today. Despite his lack of participation in oral arguments, Clarence’s intellect is indispensable to his conservative colleagues.

He made significant contributions to both Scalia’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, a gun control case, and Kennedy’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a major campaign finance law case. In Good News Club v. Milford Central School, Thomas wrote the conservative majority decision, claiming that the public school violated the First Amendment by refusing to allow a religious club to meet there. Thomas, who is nearly 69 years old, has been on the bench for 24 years and has no plans to retire.

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Written by How Africa News

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