Clarence Thomas

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Clarence Thomas

Political Leaning (based on voting decisions): Right

Voting Record on Issues:

  • Same-sex marriage: against (right)
  • Obamacare: against (right)
  • Gun Control: against (right)
  • Abortion: against (right)
  • Environment: against (right)

Appointed by: George H.W. Bush

Clarence Thomas was born in Pin Point, Georgia on June 23, 1948. He grew up with his older sister, Emma Mae, and his younger brother Myers Lee. Thomas had other plans for his future when he was at a young age. He grew up in a Catholic family and his grandfather wanted him to live religiously.  He transferred to St. John Vianney Minor Seminary during high school, which helped him get closer to becoming a Catholic priest. After graduating in 1967, he continued to study at Immaculate Conception Seminary. Then in 1968, he went on to college at Holy Cross College in Massachusetts and earned an A.B. there. After that, Thomas proceeded to attend Yale University Law School, where he received a J.D. and began to develop a more conservative perspective.

When he moved to Washington D.C., President George H.W. Bush, took an interest in Thomas and gave him his first and only judgeship, nominating him to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Then in 1991, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court, was retiring, and President Bush nominated Thomas to fill in the missing position. Marshall and Thomas had very different perspectives on things, so Thomas was criticized harshly by him for his conservative views. An infamous moment in Thomas’s career was when lawyer Anita Hill claimed that he sexually harassed her when they were working together. Thomas denied all accusations and referred to the hearings as, “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way design to think for themselves.” Finally, the committee decided that Hill did not have enough evidence to support her accusations. Thomas was eventually approved by the Senate by a minimal margin: 52-48.