Thomas, Clarence (1948-)
Robert L. Bing III
Clarence Thomas was nominated in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and remains one of the most controversial justices on the Court. After a highly contentious judicial hearing, he was confirmed. The judicial hearing attracted considerable attention both from the media and from political action groups, some of which supported his nomination and others that were vehemently opposed. The controversy stemmed from President Bush's selection to replace Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Associate Justice, who was retiring after a career marked by a history of leadership and activism in civil rights and social justice, with Thomas, a young man, also African American, but who did not share Marshall's tenacity with respect to social justice. In comparison with Justice Marshall, widely revered as an icon, Thomas was viewed by many not only as an intellectual lightweight but also by the left as ...