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  1. Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American lawyer who serves as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to succeed Thurgood Marshall, and has served since 1991. Thomas is the second African-American to serve on the Court, after Marshall. Since 2018, Thomas has been the senior ...

    • Background and Early Years
    • Education
    • Legal Career
    • Controversial Nomination and Anita Hill
    • Supreme Court Justice

    Clarence Thomas was born on June 23, 1948. He grew up in the small African American community of Pin Point, Georgia, with his older sister Emma Mae and younger brother Myers Lee. His father disappeared early on in his life, and the family divided even further when he was nine years old. Struggling financially, his mother sent him and his brother to live with her father and stepmother in nearby Savannah.

    Before he became a justice, Thomas had pursued other ambitions. His grandfather encouraged him to pursue a religious life. During high school, Thomas decided to transfer to St. John Vianney Minor Seminary, a first step to becoming a Catholic priest. He graduated in 1967 and then continued his studies at Conception Abbey Seminary in Missouri. The assassination of Martin Luther King 1968 proved to be a turning point for Thomas. He left the seminary after overhearing a fellow student making fun of King's death. Moving north, Thomas went to Holy Cross College, in Massachusetts, where he studied English. He became active in many social causes there, including protesting the Vietnam War and campaigning for civil rights. Thomas also helped establish a black student union. After college, he went to Yale University Law School, where his views started to become more conservative though he also benefited from the school's affirmative action policies.

    Thomas returned to the South to work as an assistant to Missouri Attorney General John Danforth after earning his degree. After several years as a lawyer for the agricultural giant Monsanto, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he eventually received several appointments from President Ronald Reagan. His most prominent post was as the chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1982. Another president, George H.W. Bush, gave Thomas his first and only judgeship, nominating him to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    In 1991, President George H.W. Bush tapped Thomas to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the court. The two men could not have been more different. Marshall was widely known as a liberal jurist and for his civil rights work before taking the bench. Critics, on the other hand, attacked Thomas for his rigidly conservative views. Some also thought that he had too little experience as a judge. During his confirmation hearings, Thomas remained quiet on several key issues, including abortion rights. One of the most infamous moments in Thomas's career, which almost cost him his post, was when one of his former aides at the EEOC, Anita Hill, came forward and testified that he had sexually harassed her during the time the two worked together. She claimed that he had asked her to go out with him, discussed pornography and made inappropriate remarks about her body. Thomas patently denied the allegations, famously referring to the res...

    Since his appointment in 1991, Thomas has often sided with his fellow conservatives on the court, especially Justice Antonin Scalia. He has opposed decisions in favor of affirmative action, such as the 2003 ruling that continued the program at the University of Michigan's law school. While he usually declines interviews, Thomas, based on his opinions and speeches, also clearly supports the idea of a limited federal government. He finally decided to disclose information about his life in his 2007 memoir My Grandfather's Son. True to his conservative leanings, Thomas dissented in the Supreme Court's landmark decisions in June 2015 to uphold the federal tax subsidies of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and the constitutional rights of gay couples to get married. However, he did side with the liberal justices that month in a ruling that declared the state of Texas could reject a specialty license plate featuring an image of the Confederate flag.

  2. Oct 22, 2021 · Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas took his seat on the far end of the bench in 1991 feeling -- he once said -- "beat up" by the workload. A bitter confirmation battle marked by allegations of ...

  3. Clarence Thomas. is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Confirmed in 1991, Justice Thomas has been on the Court for 25 years and has established a remarkable record of jurisprudence that has been faithful to constitutional originalism.

  4. Clarence Thomas, (born June 23, 1948, Pinpoint, near Savannah, Georgia, U.S.), associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1991, the second African American to serve on the court.

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