Monday, April 23, 2007

Justice Thomas

Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher write in Sunday's Washington Post about enigmatic Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his troubled family ties. The article is adapted from Merida's and Fletcher's new book Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas, which has been favorably reviewed. Click here for a review by Professor Kenji Yoshino, and here for a review by David Garrow. The sense one gets from both the excerpt and the reviews is that Justice Thomas is a much more complex individual than many of us assumed him to be, and a much more appealing person. For instance, I did not know that he is raising his nephew's teenaged son because the boy's father is serving a prison term. It is hard to imagine that one of Justice Thomas's passions is to drive his RV after the court adjourns in the summer. Driving the RV, Thomas says, "allows [him] a sense of freedom." Garrow quotes a Washington attorney who concludes that, while not a fan of Justice Thomas's ideology or jurisprudence, he likes him personally, and that Justice Thomas is very different in private than in public.

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