Clarence Thomas should thank President Joe Biden Skip to content

Clarence Thomas should thank President Joe Biden

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas owes Joe Biden some serious thanks. Here’s why.

2 min read
Anita Hill testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee during Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearing. (photo by R. Michael Jenkins [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons)

Boomers are always snarking about what ingrates Millennials or Gen X or Gen Z or Gen Alpha — or whoever — are. But ingrates have been around forever.

Take, for instance, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He really owes President Joe Biden, but have you ever heard Harlan Crow’s best buddy express thanks? Not on your life.

Now, Thomas owes Biden, but not for anything the latter’s done as president. What, then? The way that Senator Biden’s get-along, go-along style saved Thomas’ nomination. Someone more aggressive would have sunk Thomas’s bid to the High Court like a stone.

The year is 1991, and President George Bush Sr. has nominated a career bureaucrat with very little legal experience named Clarence Thomas to replace his polar opposite: the brilliant civil-rights icon Thurgood Marshall, a picture of probity who had argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court before he was elevated, and won 29 of them.

Obviously, Thomas was something of a dark horse (no pun intended). First, it turned out that Thomas had lied about his sister being a lazy welfare queen, presumably to ingratiate himself with racists. (Skinfolk ain’t always kinfolk.) But then rumors began to fly that the divorced Thomas had been Mr. Grabby Hands and a sexual harasser poster child for the future #MeToo movement. (This was before he picked up his White but crazy wife Ginni.) Anita Hill, an ex-colleague of Thomas’s at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, testified about Thomas’s disgusting behavior toward the women he worked with and his penchant for nasty porno. Unsurprisingly, the GOP did what it does best: make up nasty stories to smear those who got in their way.

Now, where does Joe Biden, then a senator from Delaware come in? Here’s the answer. You see, Ms. Hill was not alone. California Judge Susan Hoerchner corroborated Ms. Hill’s accusations, as did another EEOC colleague Angela Wright and others.

So what did Biden, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, do? Did he parade these women who wanted to testify, thereby dooming the judicial aspirations of Don Juan Thomas? No, he did not. Instead, after 99 days of hearings, Thomas squeaked onto the High Court on a vote of 52–48.

Had Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy or Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone been chair, would that have happened? You’re joking, right? Of course not! So Thomas owes Biden big time. Me, I’ve yet to forgive Biden. So if you’re furious that Thomas’s decisions are for sale to the highest bidder, then you can thank Biden, too. Bygones won’t be bygones, but better Joe than the Psycho.

Want a hilarious retelling of the terrible Thomas tale? Check out the Hysteria podcast episode “Clarence Thomas: Everything You Didn’t Know About His Sh*tty Past” on YouTube.


Print Friendly and PDF

Ivonne Rovira

Ivonne is the research director for Save Our Schools Kentucky. She previously worked for The Miami Herald, the Miami News, and The Associated Press. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)