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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Clarence Thomas – Enigma or Man?

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Though I’m not normally prone to empathize with Clarence Thomas but having psychological profiles like this written about a personwould be enough to drive me into silence at oral argument. Justice Thomas, it seems to me, embodies the rejection of the sloppy social determinism that so many of his commentators seem desperate to apply to him.

In their provocative new book, “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas,” two Washington Post journalists, Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, ponder Justice Thomas’s extraordinary silence, and many other puzzles. They offer a wealth of insight, but they have no answer to the central enigma he poses: why the justice who has faced the greatest hardships regularly rules for the powerful over the weak, and has a legal philosophy notable for its indifference to suffering.

To which he might well answer ‘because he can.’

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