Clarence Thomas is an American lawyer and jurist who has served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991. Born in Pin Point, Georgia, on June 23, 1948, Thomas grew up in poverty in a segregated community. Despite these challenges, he excelled academically and earned a scholarship to attend Holy Cross College, where he studied English literature.
After college, Thomas attended Yale Law School and then worked as an attorney for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed Thomas to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where he served until his appointment to the Supreme Court.
Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 to fill the seat vacated by Thurgood Marshall. His confirmation process was highly controversial due to allegations of sexual harassment made by a former colleague, Anita Hill. Despite the controversy, Thomas was confirmed by the Senate in a narrow 52-48 vote.
Throughout his tenure on the Supreme Court, Thomas has been known for his conservative views on issues such as affirmative action, abortion, and the role of the federal government. He is one of the Court’s most vocal advocates of originalism, a legal philosophy that emphasizes interpreting the Constitution based on its original meaning at the time it was written.
In addition to his work on the Supreme Court, Thomas has written several books, including his memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son,” which details his upbringing and career in law. He has also been involved in various philanthropic and educational initiatives, such as the creation of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.
Below is a table summarizing key biographical information about Clarence Thomas:
June 23, 1948
Pin Point, Georgia
Holy Cross College, Yale Law School
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Supreme Court of the United States
“My Grandfather’s Son,” Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
Supreme Court Appointments
Date of Nomination
Date of Confirmation
Notable Decisions and Dissents
United States v. Lopez (1995)
Gonzales v. Raich (2005)
District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)
Shelby County v. Holder (2013)
Awards and Honors
Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2003)
Bradley Prize (2011)
Presidential Medal of Freedom (2019)
Anita Hill Allegations (1991)
Accusations of Bias on the Court
Impact on Supreme Court Jurisprudence
Overall, Clarence Thomas has had a significant impact on the legal landscape of the United States. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout his life and career, he has remained committed to his conservative beliefs and the principles of the Constitution.