Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Meeting Clarance Thomas For the Second Time
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas came to visit my criminal procedure class yesterday. My prof had clerked for him and was able to arrange a special visit -- just like my constitutional law prof had last year. Like last time, I came away deeply impressed with the man and found him both incredibly intelligent and humble. He spoke to us for over an hour-and-a-half, taking questions from our class and sticking around to shake hands, take pictures, and sign books. I regret not getting a copy of My Grandfather's Son for him to sign.
I asked Justice Thomas why he felt increasingly idealistic since coming to the Court. He said did not know any system better than the US system of government, marveling that his grandfather, who had been raised by freed slaves, raised someone who is now a member of the Supreme Court. Thomas said he knows of no other country or system where this kind of change could take place so quickly. He said the American system is imperfect (noting he grew up under segregation), but that all systems are and he know of none better. There is nothing like a having a Supreme Court justice looking you straight in the eye while earnestly talking about the beauty of the Constitution and the blessings of liberty. It is a feeling I shall not soon forget.
In my previous post from the last time I met Justice Thomas, I linked to Part I of this 60 Minutes video interview. I just found Part II -- both parts are embedded below. Highly recommended viewing.
Read a couple of articles on Thomas here and here.