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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Supreme Court Justice Clarence ThomasSource: bing.com

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is one of the most prominent conservative justices in the United States Supreme Court. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and has been serving on the bench ever since. Justice Thomas is known for his strict adherence to the originalist interpretation of the Constitution and his strong opinions on issues such as affirmative action, gun rights, and abortion. In this article, we will take a closer look at the life and career of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Early Life and Education

Clarence Thomas YoungSource: bing.com

Clarence Thomas was born on June 23, 1948, in Pin Point, Georgia. He was the second of three children born to M.C. Thomas, a farmer, and Leola Williams, a domestic worker. Justice Thomas grew up in a segregated community and experienced racism firsthand. He attended Holy Cross College on a scholarship and graduated in 1971 with a degree in English. He went on to attend Yale Law School and graduated in 1974.

Early Legal Career

Clarence Thomas At EeocSource: bing.com

After law school, Justice Thomas worked for Missouri Attorney General John Danforth. He then became an Assistant Attorney General in Missouri and later worked for the Monsanto Company. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed him Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed him Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Supreme Court Appointment

Clarence Thomas Swearing InSource: bing.com

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Thurgood Marshall. Justice Thomas’s confirmation hearings were controversial and highly publicized, as his former colleague Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment. Despite the controversy, Justice Thomas was confirmed by the Senate and joined the Supreme Court on October 23, 1991.

Judicial Philosophy

Clarence Thomas At PodiumSource: bing.com

Justice Thomas is known for his strict adherence to the originalist interpretation of the Constitution, which means that he believes the Constitution should be interpreted based on its original meaning at the time it was written. He is also a proponent of textualism, which means that he believes that judges should interpret the law based on the plain meaning of the text. Justice Thomas has been a strong voice on issues such as affirmative action, gun rights, and abortion, often taking conservative positions.

Notable Opinions

Clarence Thomas WritingSource: bing.com

Over the course of his career on the Supreme Court, Justice Thomas has written many notable opinions. Here are a few of the most significant:

Bush v. Gore (2000)

Bush V. GoreSource: bing.com

Justice Thomas joined the majority in the controversial 5-4 decision that effectively ended the 2000 presidential election by holding that the Florida recount violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)

District Of Columbia V. HellerSource: bing.com

Justice Thomas joined the majority in this landmark Second Amendment case, which held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes, such as self-defense.

Shelby County v. Holder (2013)

Shelby County V. HolderSource: bing.com

Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion in this case, which struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The decision held that the formula used to determine which states and localities were subject to preclearance under Section 5 of the Act was unconstitutional.

Conclusion

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been a prominent conservative voice on the Supreme Court for nearly three decades. He is known for his originalist interpretation of the Constitution and his strong opinions on issues such as affirmative action, gun rights, and abortion. Despite the controversy surrounding his confirmation, Justice Thomas has had a distinguished career on the bench and has written many notable opinions.

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