Monday, April 13, 2009

Justice Clarence Thomas opens up in a rare moment

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has served on the bench for some 18 years. The public seldom hears from him, except when he's announcing his majority opinions. Even then, his voice is often monotone.

Thomas is not known for letting down his guard in public. However, a few days ago, a group of high school students got the chance to see a side of the justice that is not so stoic. As the New York Times reports, "his answers and the remarks that preceded them provided a revealing look at Justice Thomas’s worldview these days."

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Fast facts about Clarence Thomas

Born 1948 in Savannah, GA

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit
Nominated by George H.W. Bush on October 30, 1989, to a seat vacated by Robert H. Bork; Confirmed by the Senate on March 6, 1990, and received commission on March 6, 1990. Service terminated on October 17, 1991, due to appointment to another judicial position.

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
Nominated by George H.W. Bush on July 8, 1991, to a seat vacated by Thurgood Marshall; Confirmed by the Senate on October 15, 1991, and received commission on October 18, 1991.

Holy Cross College, B.A., 1971
Yale Law School, J.D., 1974

Professional Career:
Assistant attorney general, Jefferson City, Missouri, 1974-1977
Attorney, Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri, 1977-1979
Legislative assistant, Senator John C. Danforth, Washington, DC, 1979-1981
Assistant secretary for civil rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1981-1982
Chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1982-1990

Source: Federal Judicial Center

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