The Supreme Court: Marching to a Different Drummer

By choosing Clarence Thomas, who says integration is an impossible dream, Bush sparks a debate over the goals of the civil rights movement

In the days after George Bush interrupted his Kennebunkport vacation to announce his replacement for Justice Thurgood Marshall, the tiniest details of Clarence Thomas' background began to tumble out. They ranged from the lack of indoor plumbing in the house where he was born to the cigars he smokes to the bitter divorce from his first wife.

Thomas, 43, is a bundle of seeming contradictions: a black conservative who made it out of dirt-poor rural Georgia to Yale Law School and the highest ranks of government yet is opposed to all racial preferences; a founding member of the Black Student Union...

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