Judging Thomas

Clarence Thomas disgusted civil rights activists with an obstreperous first year in which he let the world know just how conservative he could be

On the desk in Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court chambers sits a framed sign that reads: "There's no limit to what you can do or where you can go if you don't mind who gets the credit." There is some irony in that. From the moment Thomas was nominated last July through his dramatic confirmation hearings, critics attributed his meteoric rise to affirmative action, tokenism or the narrow political calculations of George Bush. But now that the term is finished, Thomas alone can claim credit for one of the more obstreperous first-year performances on the Supreme Court in recent memory.

Though he...

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