The popular saying that fate can be delayed but never denied was embodied by the confirmation process of Clarence Thomas as a judge of the United States Supreme Court. Thomas suddenly appeared in the spotlight after his 1991 confirmation trial when his former colleague Anita Hill made sexual harassment charges against him.
But despite all the suffering and controversy that the ensuing lawsuit brought, Judge Thomas received his confirmation in October 1991, and today he is the only judge of African-American origin on the bench of the Supreme Court. The only other legal luminary of a similar race whoever held this exalted position was Thurgood Marshall.
Clarence Thomas is popularly known as the silent judge because he always keeps a cool head at every hearing in a court case that he happens to preside over. He is considered by many to be the most conservative justice in the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court judge is known for his libertarian and conservative leanings, his approach to interpreting the United States Constitution is very strict and constructive, and he is a strong advocate of state rights. Thomas is the judge who is not averse to giving his disagreement with the majority a voice, even if it is politically unpopular.
Clarence Thomas joined his family as the second of three children of Leola Williams (mother), a domestic worker, and M.C. Thomas (father), a farmworker. His family was among the American slaves of the time and spoke Gullah as their mother tongue. He was born on June 23, 1948, in Pin Point Georgia, a small poor community. His father estranged himself from the family when Thomas was very young, and his mother remarried and sent him to Savannah with his younger sister Myers to live with her parents Christine and Myers Anderson.
Thomas’ grandfather influenced his formative years so much that he called him Daddy. His 2007 memoirs, which described his life with his grandfather, were therefore titled My Grandfather’s Son. According to the case-law of the Supreme Court, what he is today is what his grandfather made of him.
Young Thomas moved from St. Benedict the Moor Gymnasium, which was an all-black high school, and enrolled in St. John Vianney Minor Seminary at his grandfather’s request. He went to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and later to Yale Law School, where he graduated in law.
Considering his years of service and his importance in the legal profession, it cannot be denied that Clarence Thomas has come a long way and would have accumulated a decent fortune for himself. Notwithstanding this, his net worth has not been published, but as reported by the Federal Judicial Center, the average annual income of a Chief Justice is about $255,500.
The famous judge of the Supreme Court was twice married and filed for divorce. In 1971 he married Kathy Ambush, who was his college sweetheart. The duo divorced in 1984 after the birth of their son Jamal Adeen in 1973. The reason for their separation and final divorce was not disclosed, but the couple declared it away as “personal reasons”.
His second marriage took place in 1978, he combined the marriage with his then-girlfriend Virginia Lamp, who works as a lawyer and columnist. Virginia sees herself as a social entrepreneur and lover of justice. She is the founder of Liberty Central, a nonprofit group that lobbies against the Democrats. Virginia founded the group in 2009 but resigned after a year to prevent her “media celebrity status” from distracting the group in any way. Virginia is also an active member of another conservative lobby group known as Groundswell.
Clarence Thomas And The Anita Hill Scandal
Clarence Thomas was presented for confirmation as a United States Supreme Court Justice when Anita Hill, a former law professor at the University of Oklahoma, filed a lawsuit against him. She had claimed that the legal veteran had sexually harassed her. In her submissions, the plaintiff described in detail how Thomas uttered some sexually explicit words to her while working under him in the 1980s as a staff member of the Commission for Equal Opportunity in Employment. In her breakdown of the content of Thomas’s indecent exposure, Anita mentioned that her former boss talked to her about breast size, favorite porn, male genital organ, and his own sexual prowess.
In his defense, Thomas dismissed all charges against him when he expressed his outrage at the circus the hearing became. Finally, at 7-7, the Judiciary Committee came to a halt and the Senate received its confirmation for a vote in plenary, but no recommendation was made. Thomas was later confirmed in one of the closest ranks in the history of the Supreme Court, with a record 52-48 votes along party lines.