The popular saying that destiny can be delayed but never denied was epitomized by the confirmation process of Clarence Thomas as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Thomas suddenly surfaced in the limelight following his confirmation proceedings of 1991 when his former colleague, Anita Hill, leveled allegations of sexual harassment against him.
But regardless of all the woes and controversies brought on by the ensuing legal battle, Justice Thomas got his confirmation in October 1991 and today, he sits on the bench as the sole Supreme Court justice of African-American origin. The only other legal luminary of the similar race to ever occupy that exalted position was Thurgood Marshall.
Clarence Thomas is popularly known as the silent justice, owing to the fact that he always maintains his cool during any oral argument in any court proceedings he happens to preside over. He’s come to be seen by many as the most conservative justice as far as the United States Supreme Court is concerned. The Supreme Court justice is renowned for his libertarian and conservative inclinations, his approach to the interpretation of the United States constitutions is very strict and constructive and he is a strong supporter of states’ rights. Thomas is the justice who is not averse to giving voice to his disagreement with the majority even when it is politically unpopular.
Clarence Thomas joined his family as the second of three kids born to Leola Williams (mother), a domestic worker and M.C Thomas (father), a farm hand. His family was part of the American slaves of that era and spoke Gullah as their native language. He was born in Pin Point Georgia, a small poor community on the 23rd day of June 1948. His dad became estranged from the family when Thomas was very young and his mom remarried and sent him along with his younger sibling, Myers to Savannah to live with her parents Christine and Myers Anderson.
Thomas’ grandfather influenced his formative years so much that he came to call him daddy, consequently, his memoir of 2007 which chronicled his life with his grandfather was titled My Grandfather’s Son. According to the Supreme Court justice, what he is today is what his grandfather has made him.
The young Thomas changed from St. Benedict the Moor Grammar School which was an all-black-high-school and enrolled in St. John Vianney Minor Seminary at the request of his grandfather. He proceeded to the College of the Holy Cross located in Worcester, Massachusetts and later joined Yale Law School where he bagged his law degree.
If his years of service and prominence in the legal profession are to be considered, there’s no gainsaying that Clarence Thomas has come a long way and would have accumulated a befitting fortune for himself. Regardless, his net worth has not been made public but as revealed by the Federal Judicial Center, the average annual earning of a chief justice is around $255,500.
The famed Supreme Court justice has been married twice with a record of one divorce. In 1971, he got married to Kathy Ambush who was his college sweetheart. The duo divorced in 1984 after the birth of their son Jamal Adeen in 1973. The reason behind their separation and ultimate divorce was not made public but the couple explained it away as “personal reasons”.
His second marriage took place in 1978, he tied the nuptials with his then-girlfriend Virginia Lamp who works as an attorney and a columnist. Virginia sees herself as a social entrepreneur and a lover of justice. She is the founder of Liberty Central which serves as a non-profit group lobbying against the Democrats. Virginia founded the group in 2009 but after a year, she stepped down to stop her “media celebrity status” from creating any sort of distractions for the group. Virginia is also an active member of another lobbying group for Conservatives known as Groundswell.
Clarence Thomas And The Anita Hill Scandal
Clarence Thomas was presented for confirmation as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States when Anita Hill, a former professor of law at the University of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against him. She had claimed that the law veteran sexually harassed her. In her submissions, the plaintiff gave a detailed testament of how Thomas voiced some sexually explicit words to her while she was a staff under him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 1980s. In her breakdown of the content of Thomas’ indecent disclosure, Anita mentioned that her former boss talked to her about breast size, favorite porn, male genital organ, and his own sexual skills.
In his defense, Thomas denied all the allegations leveled against him as he expressed his outrage at the circus the hearing was turning out to be. In conclusion, the judiciary committee deadlocked at 7-7, and the Senate received his confirmation for a floor vote, but no recommendation was made. Thomas later got confirmed in one of the narrowest margins in the history of the Supreme Court, with a record of 52-48 along partisan lines.