The Who2 Blog

Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill: The Shame of It All

So Ginny Thomas — wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — called Anita Hill this week, out of the blue, to ask for an apology.  The transcript of the phone message:

“Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginny Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.”


Nice that she’s standing by her man. But if Ginny Thomas really thinks Anita Hill was lying and her husband was telling the whole truth, she’s the only person on the Eastern seaboard who believes it.  And that includes Orrin Hatch and every other senator who voted, as a purely political maneuver, to plop Thomas onto the bench for 45 years.

Clarence Thomas remains the most cynical and underqualified appointment to the Supreme Court of my lifetime.  A 43-year-old man with one year of experience as a judge and eight at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a man so profoundly uninterested in the law that even today he refuses to ask questions in oral arguments, those moments of give-and-take that every other justice deems an essential part of the job — that’s really the best man for the job, eh, George Bush?

Which is the real tragedy.  The confirmation hearings 20 years ago never should have been about Anita Hill. They always should have been about whether to put a very, very unqualified and inexperienced person on the highest court in the land.  The Senate should have had the backbone to reject Clarence Thomas on those grounds alone.  It’s a shame.

And at this point, it’s actually kind of mean of Clarence Thomas to keep his wife in the dark about Hill.  Isn’t it a little humiliating for Ginny to be the only one who doesn’t know? Couldn’t he just pull her aside after dinner one night and tip her off?

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