Born: June 23, 1948
Place of Birth: Pin Point, GA
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Career and Life
Clarence Thomas is an American judge who serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Following the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, Thomas became the most senior member of the Supreme Court. Thomas succeeded Thurgood Marshall and is the second African American to serve on the Court. Among the current members of the Court he is the longest-serving justice, with a tenure of 28 years, 244 days as of June 23, 2020.
Thomas grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and was educated at the College of the Holy Cross and at Yale Law School. He was appointed an Assistant Attorney General in Missouri in 1974, and subsequently practiced law there in the private sector. In 1979, he became a legislative assistant to United States Senator John Danforth, and in 1981 was appointed Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed Thomas Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
In 1990, President George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas, a federal Circuit Judge, to succeed retiring Associate Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Senate hearings on his confirmation were initially completed with Thomas's good character being presented as a primary qualification for the high court because he had only been a judge for slightly more than one year. There had been little organized opposition to Thomas' nomination, and his confirmation seemed assured until a report of a private interview of Anita Hill by the FBI was leaked to the press.
The hearings were then reopened, and Hill was called to publicly testify. Hill said onOctober 11, 1991 in televised hearings that Thomas had sexually harassed her while he was her supervisor at the Department of Education and the EEOC. When questioned on why she followed Thomas to the second job after he had already allegedly harassed her, she said working in a reputable position within the civil rights field had been her ambition. The position was appealing enough to inhibit her from going back into private practice with her previous firm. She said that she only realized later in her life that the choice had represented poor judgment on her part, but that "at that time, it appeared that the sexual overtures ... had ended."
The U.S. Senate ultimately confirmed Thomas by a vote of 52–48.
Since joining the court, Thomas has taken a textualist approach, seeking to uphold the original meaning of the United States Constitution and statutes. He is also, along with fellow justice Neil Gorsuch, an advocate of natural law jurisprudence. Thomas is generally viewed as the most conservative member of the court. Thomas is also known for almost never speaking during oral arguments.