Justice Thomas Lashes Out in Memoir
Justice Clarence Thomas settles scores in an angry and vivid forthcoming memoir, scathingly condemning the media, the Democratic senators who opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court, and the "mob" of liberal elites and activist groups that he says desecrated his life.
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Racial imagery abounds in "My Grandfather's Son," a continuation of his description of the Senate hearings as a "high-tech lynching."
"As a child in the Deep South, I'd grown up fearing the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux Klan; as an adult, I was starting to wonder if I'd been afraid of the wrong white people all along," he writes. "My worst fears had come to pass not in Georgia, but in Washington, D.C., where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony."
Thomas writes that he did not watch Hill's televised testimony against him at his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, and so he does not respond in detail to her charges except to call them lies. He describes Hill as "touchy and apt to overreact" and says: "If I or anyone else had done the slightest thing to offend her, she would have complained loudly and instantly, not waited for a decade to make her displeasure known."
He writes that Hill did a "mediocre" job at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where he was chairman, and misrepresented herself at the time of the hearings as a "devoutly religious Reagan-administration employee." "In fact, she was a left-winger who'd never expressed any religious sentiments" and had a job in the administration "because I'd given it to her."
Thomas has particularly caustic comments about the Democratic senators who opposed his nomination. He compares then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) to the lying hypocrites in the old song "Smiling Faces Sometimes" by Undisputed Truth. About former senator Howard Metzenbaum (Ohio): "It would be kind to describe him as unlikable."
And Howell Heflin, the late senator from Alabama, was described by the press as "courtly," Thomas says, but his manner "made me think of a slave owner sitting on the porch of a plantation house."
Justice Thomas Writes Autobiography
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Breaking his 16-year public silence on his bitter confirmation hearings, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says Anita Hill was a mediocre employee who was used by political opponents to make claims she had been sexually harassed.
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Powerful interest groups were out to stop him at all costs and chose "the age-old blunt instrument of accusing a black man of sexual misconduct," he writes.
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In 1991, Thomas adamantly denied Hill's accusations that he made inappropriate sexual remarks, including references to pornographic movies. Thomas says he did talk about X-rated movies while at Yale Law School, adding that so did many other young people in the 1970s.
Thomas says now that he was "one of the least likely candidates imaginable" for a charge of harassment, having made clear his desire to run an agency staffed mainly by minorities and women as professionally as any other.