I’ve never been into vilifying Clarence Thomas the way some colored folks have.
But when I saw the Supreme Court in action on TV, back during the Florida recount mess of 2000, I did take notice of Justice Thomas’s conspicuous silence. All the other justices were asking questions; Thomas didn’t say a mumbling word.
I couldn’t help but think: “Well, the dumbest kid in class doesn’t usually say shit!” I’ve wondered ever since whether Clarence Thomas was particularly bright.
Then I heard what Jan Crawford Greenburg had to say a month ago, in her lecture at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Author of the book “Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court,” Ms. Crawford Greenburg said Justice Thomas gets a bum rap as a legal thinker. He is not Antonin Scalia’s Little Sir Echo. He is his own man, and a persuasive arguer to boot.
I’m streaming 4½ minutes of Crawford Greenburg’s remarks here, on my Vox audio stash. (You can download the full hourlong presentation off of the EPPC website, here.)
I must make time to read “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas,” by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, to see what makes that man tick.