Clarence Thomas, an American Judge

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In 1991, the prestigious Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall announced his retirement (“Clarence Thomas”, pg. 2). Justice Marshall set the precedent for racial equality in America, putting Clarence Thomas at the opposite end of Marshall’s liberal agenda. At this time, Clarence Thomas was working on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a common “stepping stone” to the U.S. Supreme Court (Clarence Thomas, pg. 2). President Bush had been eager to nominate Thomas to the court, and on July 1, 1991, he afforded him the opportunity (“Clarence Thomas”, pg. 1). This was a chance of a lifetime for Thomas. Once Thomas was nominated concerns began to surface. Would there be backlash from Civil Rights committees for his criticism of the Brown v. the Board of Education (Abramson and Mayer, pg. 117)? The Bork hearings had recently ended, and the politics in the air ran thick. The “war over the Supreme Court” within the last twenty years was never more intense than at Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings (“Clarence Thomas”, pg. 2). Learning from the Bork experience, the political strategies would be coming from inside and outside the beltway. If successful, the campaign would deflect attention from Thomas’s record and qualifications, showing him as nothing less than the people’s choice (Abramson and Mayer, pg. 122). A prominent outsider to lead the battle was political consultant, Kenneth Duberstein. Duberstein knew that the way to play the game was to use Thomas’s hard knocks background, creating what was called the “Pin Point Strategy” (Abramson and Mayer, pg. 123). Duberstein arranged to have multiple murder boards with Thomas. Questions were raised on past rulings and speeches, and when it came down to his opinions on minority rights and abortion he was told to say nothing definitive (Abramson and Mayer, pg. 128). On September 10, 1991, Thomas and his team sat with the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Joseph Biden (“Clarence Thomas”, pg. 2)....
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