Glenn, you will appreciate this: https://maxkanin.substack.com/p/did-united-states-supreme-court-justice (Coming from a liberal who's only ever voted Democratic)

This will sound odd. And it's a mea culpa of sorts. But I actually have shifted more towards your position on Clarence Thomas. And one of the shifts was because of how Ketanji Brown-Jackson was treated during her confirmation hearings last year. And I did not like that and I didn't like how she as denigrated and how she was viewed as somehow being a voice for African Americans and black women in particular.

She's there to do her job as a Supreme Court Justice (it's why she and Justice Gorsuch have joined each other's concurring and dissenting opinions a few times this year). She's not there to be a representative of black women. And expecting that of her is demeaning. But also, just in general, the whole process felt demeaning to her and to all black women, especially black women lawyers. It made me angry.

But it also got me thinking about my own attitudes. I treated Clarence Thomas this way that I abhored. This made me realize my own prior attitudes (what you'd expect from any white liberal) towards Clarence Thomas were wrong. (Which doesn't mean I am a fan suddenly, I still don't like him or agree with much of his judicial philosophy). I get why some of the attacks and assumptions against him bother you. And I'm no longer adhering to that.

Please accept this white liberal Democrat's apology.

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I note that while you suggest that C. Thomas should be honored and lauded for his accomplishments, you do not cite any of them beyond his ability to hold a job for 30 years, one to which he was appointed for life by the way. That ain't much of an accomplishment.

Being born 'poor' (he was raised by his grandfather, a successful small businessman) ain't much of an accomplishment either.

Refusing to recognize the right of habeas corpus for Guantanamo prisoners is an accomplishment, but one of entirely the wrong sort.

Signing onto the decision to hand Bush the presidency when the constitution clearly states that the federal government has no role in determining the winner of elections in the various states was an accomplishment that is not only the wrong sort but egregiously wrong. That is so wrong I can see it from here.

The list goes on. And the current spate of sins for which he has been exposed ain't nothing neither.

Your friend,


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I don’t know the etiquette about naming buildings after people who are still living. Maybe California will be the first state with a “Clarence Thomas High School”. I saw video documentary- “Created Equal”, currently available on Amazon and Youtube. While Ginsberg and Thomas both seem likable- I don’t know anything about their Supreme Court work and am not qualified to say which among the nine should have buildings named after them.

Justice Thomas and I have something in common, both of our fathers had an occupation as farmer.

After seeing the ordeal that Kavenough went through regarding dubious sex-abuse accusation, I retroactively became more sympathetic towards Thomas. On Maureen Dowd’s misinformation about non-validated sex-abuse accusations, I have reached my tolerance limit of liberals’ defamatory remarks. Supposedly Ginsberg, Sotomayor and Thomas had no problem sitting 10-feet away from a White Supremacist coworker 5 days a week.

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Thank you for this. I've been a Clarence Thomas fan since his confirmation hearings, in which he was treated like absolute crap by Joe Biden.

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Ginsberg helped liberate and empower women. Thomas liberated and empowered no one. He made it very difficult for young poor women to get abortions. Middle class women can still find a way.

The Supreme Court is the only way that out-of-control state legislatures can be reined in. It is so ironic that a black man is limiting voting rights on the basis of “States rights”. Gerrymandering being an important current problem.

On the other hand, Thomas is a political event, not a moral example. Slowing “Woke” excesses is a work of common sense, not a work of genius.

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Also "anti-Black" == in the world according to Clarence Thomas there would be at least short-term concrete harms to Black people. He was part of the gutting of the VRA for goodness' sake.

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Ben Carson's name could be on the high schools, etc. and this would make Glenn's point. I voted for Clinton in 1992 precisely because of that nomination because it was so cynical. Bush, Sr. made the nomination daring the Senate to vote against Thomas because he was Black even though he did not have a developed judicial philosophy on many things. Clearly in recent times presidents have figured out that they need to nominate people with no clear records on many of the issues the Court is asked to decide.

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I believe Anita Hill and the other women that the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to call for testimony because Thomas played on white guilt like a fiddle. Perhaps one can argue whether sexual harassment is disqualifying, but the taint of perjury and more recently corruption means Justice Thomas will never be revered in the way Professor Loury advocates.

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I remember Clarence Thomas answering a very common question people had about him.

He was speaking before a group of students; it was Q&A time. (I can't recall if it was high school or college. This was probably 20+ years ago.)

"Why don't you speak more during sessions, Justice Thomas?"

The question we ALL *wanted* to ask, even those of us who regularly defended him against critics who insisted his silence was proof he had no business on the Court in the first place: "He's unqualified!" "He's Scalia's lapdog!" (You know the routine.)

This was back when Bill Maher was hated by today's anti-woke 'conservatives'. (Yes, Maher used to crap on Clarence Thomas, too. Alan Dershowitz was even worse. Times do change.)

These were ridiculous assertions in my view, and still are. They used to really piss me off.

In any case, Thomas proffered what I thought was a fair answer:

"Look. It's not like we haven't read these cases already. We know them quite well. Moreover, I have astute colleagues who often ask the questions I have in mind. That being the case, I see no point in speaking just to hear my own voice. That would be a waste of the Court's time." (paraphrased)

That answer suggested to me that Clarence Thomas genuinely cared about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, even if it meant being subjected to unwarranted opprobrium on a regular basis.

But that was then and this is now, and it's time to get real. Between his decades-long Harlan Crow excursions and apparent conflicts of interest vis-à-vis his wife, it is plain and obvious that Thomas doesn't value that ideal very much if at all.

Had Glenn made this proclamation a year ago, I would have been among the first to endorse. But new information has a way of changing things.

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I am shocked and appalled daily by what I hear in the legacy News Media each day. I just want to know when common sense went out the window and crazy progressive liberals took over?! I always considered myself a center left liberal but find the Democratic Party to be evil to the core and wish the conservatives would find a way to get their message across. Never thought I would say that!!! Leave Justice Thomas alone please, he has accomplished so much. Thank you for addressing this.

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I get it Glenn- the reactions to the Justice are in many respects unfair and even racist to a point. I don’t agree with him at all on most issues and find his personal behavior to be marginal in its respect for the Court, but ridicule is not a mature adult response to his life and record. Naming stuff after him is a bridge too far. It’s not exactly a participation trophy at the the level of the Court, but saying he should be rewarded for 30 years of yeoman like service is not, in my opinion, appropriate. He is a positive role model for many, and especially for black men of all ages for his rising to the level he has. That’s it.

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Whatever message you are trying to send the fact that the audience you are reaching is overwhelmingly white should tell you that the message being received is precisely the one you claim not to be sending absolving white people of their racism.

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Race should have nothing to do with naming schools or any other award recognition. True social justice should be as blind as legal justice. If you want actual equality, real parity, then there can be no double standards, not in 2023. We're seeing what happens when those are applied all over Wokedom.

If Thomas has violated ethical whatevers, he takes the fall for it — he certainly needs to be investigated, just as Epstein did, and countless other Whites, Asians, Latinos. Anita Hill had a right to be heard, but if Andrew Cuomo goes down for the same thing, so should have Thomas. I don't approve of America's extreme puritanism — but I don't take the blame for my Puritan ancestors any more than I do a Southerner's slave-owning ancestors — but that's the way things are here. If you want double standards, that's okay, but there can never be true equality as well — equality is about balance, across the board.

Also, anecdotal fallacies — "I know him; he's a great man; he's not like that" — are no argument, I'm sorry. I was raised in an establishment Republican household. There's plenty that people on the outside don't see.

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Here's a damned good reason he should be honored - https://streamfortyseven.substack.com/p/facebook-and-twitter-should-be-regulated

i'll bet $100 that his concurring opinion - on my Substack page, too long for here - is the real reason for this vilification campaign - it's monopolists fighting dirty to protect their monopolies...

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Jun 6Liked by Glenn Loury

Rising from unbelievable poverty and circumstances, Justice Clarence Thomas is an important, indeed, towering figure in contemporary life and in American history. The fact that he is a black conservative that believes in anachronisms like free markets, hard work and the Constitution has earned him the unrelenting hatred of the "progressive" left. This tells you more about progressives than about Thomas, who occupies a belief set squarely in the center of traditional American thought and values.

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The obituaries of both Thomas and Kavanaugh will include the sexual allegations. Having a school named in their honor will be a heavy lift. Thomas is also tainted by the gifts he received from a billionaire who collects Nazi memorabilia.

There are schools named for Colin Powell and Ralph Bunche, both Black conservatives.

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