40 Facts About Clarence Thomas

1. Clarence Thomas is one of thirteen Catholic justices—out of 112 justices total—in the history of the Supreme Court, and one of four currently on the court.

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2. In 1971, Clarence Thomas married his college sweetheart, Kathy Grace Ambush.

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3. Clarence Thomas had a nearly seven-year streak of not speaking at all in any context, finally breaking that silence on January 14, 2013, when he, a Yale Law graduate, was understood to have joked that a law degree from Harvard may be proof of incompetence.

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4. Clarence Thomas has contended that the Constitution does not address the issue of abortion.

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5. Clarence Thomas found that the forfeiture in this case was clearly intended as a punishment at least in part, was "grossly disproportional", and was a violation of the Excessive Fines Clause.

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6. Clarence Thomas dissented, arguing that the purpose of the Speedy Trial Clause was to prevent "'undue and oppressive incarceration' and the 'anxiety and concern accompanying public accusation'" and that the case implicated neither.

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7. All of the justices, except Clarence Thomas, concluded that this search violated the Fourth Amendment.

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8. Clarence Thomas dissented in the case Georgia v Randolph, which prohibited warrantless searches that one resident approves and the other opposes, arguing that the case was controlled by the court's decision in Coolidge v New Hampshire.

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9. Clarence Thomas was joined by Justice Scalia in the former two, and by Justice Gorsuch in Peruta.

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10. Clarence Thomas says "it makes little sense to incorporate the Establishment Clause" vis-a-vis the states by the Fourteenth Amendment.

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11. Clarence Thomas consistently voted for outcomes that promoted state-governmental authority, in cases involving federalism-based limits on Congress's enumerated powers.

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12. Clarence Thomas granted the federal government the "strongest presumptions" and said "due process requires nothing more than a good-faith executive determination" to justify the imprisonment of Hamdi, a US citizen.

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13. Clarence Thomas believes federal legislators have overextended the Commerce Clause, while some of his critics argue that Thomas's position on congressional authority would invalidate much of the contemporary work of the federal government.

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14. Clarence Thomas dissented in Raich, again arguing for the original meaning of the Commerce Clause.

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15. Clarence Thomas has consistently supported narrowing the court's interpretation of the constitution's Interstate Commerce Clause to limit federal power.

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16. Clarence Thomas is often described as the most conservative member of the Supreme Court, although others gave Justice Scalia that designation.

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17. Clarence Thomas is often described as an originalist, or textualist, and a member of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court.

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18. Clarence Thomas said in 2007: "One of the reasons I don't do media interviews is, in the past, the media often has its own script.

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19. Clarence Thomas has rarely given media interviews during his time on the court.

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20. Clarence Thomas is associated with the more conservative side of the Court.

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21. Clarence Thomas wrote an autobiography addressing Anita Hill's allegations, and she wrote an autobiography addressing her experience in the hearings.

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22. Clarence Thomas was reticent when answering Senators' questions during the appointment process, recalling what had happened to Robert Bork when Bork expounded on his judicial philosophy during his confirmation hearings four years prior.

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23. Clarence Thomas developed warm relationships during his 19 months on the federal court, including with fellow federal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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24. Clarence Thomas was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 6, 1990, and received his commission the same day.

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25. Clarence Thomas asserted in 1984 that black leaders were "watching the destruction of our race" as they "bitch, bitch, bitch" about President Reagan instead of working with the Reagan administration to alleviate teenage pregnancy, unemployment and illiteracy.

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26. Clarence Thomas was admitted to the Missouri bar on September 13, 1974.

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27. In 1975, when Clarence Thomas read Race and Economics by economist Thomas Sowell, he found an intellectual foundation for his philosophy.

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28. Clarence Thomas said that potential employers assumed he obtained it because of affirmative action policies.

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29. Clarence Thomas has recollected that his Yale Juris Doctor degree was not taken seriously by law firms to which he applied after graduating.

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30. Clarence Thomas had a series of deferments from the military draft while in college at Holy Cross.

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31. Clarence Thomas had overheard another student say after the shooting, "Good, I hope the son of a bitch died.

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32. Clarence Thomas calls his grandfather "the greatest man I have ever known.

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33. Clarence Thomas was seven when the family moved in with his maternal grandfather, Myers Anderson, and Anderson's wife, Christine, in Savannah.

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34. Clarence Thomas was born in 1948 in Pin Point, Georgia, a small, predominantly black community near Savannah founded by freedmen after the American Civil War.

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35. Clarence Thomas is generally viewed as the most conservative member of the court.

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36. Clarence Thomas is, along with fellow justice Neil Gorsuch, an advocate of natural law jurisprudence.

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37. Clarence Thomas served in that role for 16 months, and on July 1, 1991, was nominated by Bush to fill Marshall's seat on the United States Supreme Court.

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38. Clarence Thomas was appointed an Assistant Attorney General in Missouri in 1974, and subsequently practiced law there in the private sector.

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39. Clarence Thomas succeeded Thurgood Marshall and is the second African American to serve on the Court.

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40. Clarence Thomas was born on June 23, 1948 and is an American judge, lawyer, and government official who currently serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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