Clarence Thomas Biograph

Justice Clarence Thomas: is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the second black African-American justice. In this article, all the information related to Clarence Thomas Biography has been explained in very simple and easy language. Hopefully our readers will get good information after reading this.

Clarence Thomas’s Biography

Full name:Clarence Thomas
Profession:American Jurist
Born:June 23, 1948 in Pin Point, Savannah, Georgia,USA
Best Known For:Associate Justice, Supreme Court USA
Education:Law Degree ,Yale University, 1974
Annual Salary $230,000 +
Monthly Salary: $21,000 +
Age:74 Years
Height:5′10″
Weight: 90 kg
Parents:M.C. Thomas & Leola Anderson Thomas
Marital Status:Married
Spouse: Virginia Thomas(m. 1987), Kathy Ambush (m. 1971–1984)
Children:Jamal Adeen Thomas
Siblings:3
Nationality:American

Who is Clarence Thomas?

Clarence Thomas is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the second black African-American justice. He was born on June 23, 1948 in Pin Point, Savannah, Georgia.

Thomas was selected as a Supreme Court Justice in 1991 by George H.W. Bush following the resignation of Justice Thurgood Marshall. While becoming a judge, he also had to face allegations of sexual harassment made by his former colleague Anita Hill.

Before becoming an Associate Justice, Thomas served several government positions including serving as Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Chairman of the U.S. Department of Equal Employment Opportunity during the Reagan Administration.

Early Life, Education and Family Background

Clarence Thomas’s parents are MC Thomas and Leola Anderson Thomas. His parents got divorced when he was two years old. After this, he and his younger brother were brought up by their maternal grandparents.

Thomas received his primary education from St. Benedict the Moor School, a black Roman Catholic elementary school in Savannah, Georgia.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1971. He was the first black student to graduate from this college. Before this, he had also studied in a boarding school for a few days.

After graduating, Thomas earned a law degree from Yale University in 1974. During his time at Yale, he was influenced by the works of conservative thinkers such as Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

Clarence Thomas’s Begnning Career

Clarence Thomas began his career in 1974 as an Assistant Attorney General where he served for three years.

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He then worked as a lawyer for Monsanto Company (1977–79). Then (1977–81) he also worked as a legislative assistant to Republican Senator John C. Danforth of Missouri.

After working with Danforth for about four years, she was appointed Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education in 1981.

In 1982 President Reagan nominated him to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit where he served in the D.C. Court of Appeals until 199.

Clarence Thomas’s tenure as Judge (1991-Present)

In 1991, Clarence Thomas was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by US President George H.W. Bush following the resignation of Thurgood Marshall.

But Anita Hill, a colleague who worked with him at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the 1980s, accused him of sexual harassment. She accused Thomas of repeatedly and unwantedly having sex with her while she was at work.

The case gained prominence in 1991, with many women angry that Hill’s allegations were not taken seriously. In response to the allegations, Thomas denied that he ever sexually harassed Hill.

Thomas was ultimately given a clean chit by the Senate by a vote of 52-48. He took charge on 23 October 1991. Since then till now he has remained on this post.

Since joining the Supreme Court, Thomas has been known for his conservative judicial philosophy and fundamentalist interpretation of the Constitution. He has written numerous opinion pieces on a wide range of issues, including affirmative action, abortion, and the First Amendment. Thomas is often considered one of the court’s most conservative justices.

Clarence Thomas’s Top five Notable Cases and Judgment

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Clarence Thomas has written many notable decisions during his tenure. Some of his most important decisions include:

Agostini v. Felton (1997)

Agostini v. Felton was a landmark case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1997. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion for the Supreme Court in Agostini v. Felton. The Court’s decision overturned the precedent set in Aguilar v. Felton (1985), which had ruled that it was unconstitutional for public school teachers to provide instruction on the premises of religious schools, even if funding was provided by the government. Justice Thomas’s opinion in Agostini stated that such funding did not inherently violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as long as it was used for secular purposes and did not result in excessive entanglement between government and religion. 

Arlington Central School District Board of Education (ACDBE) v. Murphy (2006)

Arlington Central School District Board of Education (ACDBE) v. Murphy was a Supreme Court case in 2006 (548 U.S. 291) that concerned who pays expert witness fees in lawsuits under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Murphy won the case and sought reimbursement for the fees paid to its expert witnesses, particularly an educational consultant. But the Supreme Court ruled against the Murphys in a 6-3 decision. The Court decided that IDEA did not authorise reimbursement of expert witness fees.

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The final result of this case from the Supreme Court was that parents who win IDEA lawsuits generally cannot recover the costs of expert witnesses from school districts.

Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples are guaranteed a fundamental right to marry by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The decision effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in the United States.

Clarence Thomas argued against the majority decision in his dissenting opinion, arguing that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to same-sex marriage and that such cases should be decided by the states, not the federal government or courts. He expressed concern over judicial overreach and erosion of democratic processes.

Good News Club vs. Milford Central School (1996)

Good News Club v. Milford Central School was an important legal case in the United States regarding freedom of speech and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

In 1996, the Good News Club, a Christian after-school club, sought to hold its meetings at Milford Central School, a public school in New York. However, the school district denied the club’s request, citing a policy that prohibits the use of school facilities for religious purposes. The Good News Club sued the school district, arguing that the refusal violated the right to free speech and free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.

The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of Good News Club in a 6–3 decision in 2001. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion, which held that the school district’s policy was unconstitutional because it discriminated against religious people. Violated the principle of speech and viewpoint neutrality. The Court held that if a public school allows other after-school clubs to use its facilities for educational and recreational purposes, it cannot discriminate against religious clubs based on the content of their speech.

Harris v. Quinn (2014)

In the case of Harris v. Quinn (2014), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Clarence Thomas concurred. The case concerned whether Illinois home health care workers, who are paid by the state to care for Medicaid recipients, can be forced to pay union dues, even if they are not union members.

Justice Thomas agreed with the majority opinion, holding that the First Amendment prohibits the collection of agency fees from plaintiffs, who are home health care workers, as a condition of their Medicaid payments. He argued that the majority should have gone further and overruled Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), which held that public employees could be forced to pay agency fees to a union, Even if they are not members. Thomas said Abood was unfairly judged and his First Amendment rights were violated by forcing workers to subsidise speech with which he disagreed.

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Lawrence vs. Texas (2003)

In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), the United States Supreme Court struck down Texas’s anti-sodomy law, ruling that intimate consensual sexual conduct is guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Freedom was protected by rights. This case was a landmark decision in affirming the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.

Clarence Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion in the case, joined by then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia. In his dissent, Thomas argued that the Texas statute criminalizing gay sex did not violate the Constitution because he believed that no general right to privacy or liberty is explicitly protected in the Constitution, and therefore There is no basis to challenge the law. Thomas’s dissent relied heavily on originalist interpretations of the Constitution and the intentions of its framers.

Clarence Thomas’s All Notable Case and Judgment

Apart from this, he has decided in many more cases, the list of which is given below.

  1. Bush v. Gore (2000): This case decided the outcome of the disputed 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Justice Thomas joined the majority in Bush v. Gore, effectively ending the recount in Florida, leading to Bush’s victory.
  2. Gonzales v. Raich (2005): Justice Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion arguing against the court’s majority opinion upholding the federal government’s right to prohibit the use of marijuana for medical purposes, even if such use Was legal under the state.
  3. District of Columbia v. Heller (2008): This case addressed the scope of the Second Amendment in relation to the individual’s right to bear arms. Justice Thomas joined the majority opinion, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for self-defence within the home.
  4. District of Columbia v. Heller (2008): Justice Thomas wrote a separate opinion agreeing with the majority’s conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a gun for traditionally legitimate purposes, such as self-defence. 
  5. McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010): Justice Thomas wrote a separate opinion concurring with the majority decision that the Second Amendment is invoked against the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  6. Shelby County v. Holder (2013): Justice Thomas joined the majority opinion that struck down the coverage formula used in Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, allowing certain pre-clearance The requirement was effectively invalidated. Jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in voting practices.
  7. Obergefell v. Hodges (2015): This landmark case legalized gay marriage nationwide. Justice Thomas dissent, arguing that the Court’s decision had no basis in the Constitution and should have been left to the democratic process rather than judicial fiat.

Clarence Thomas’s Net worth

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas has an estimated net worth of around $24 million.

Clarence Thomas’s Personal Life

Clarence Thomas has married twice in his life. The name of his first wife is Kathy Ambush. He married in 1971. His relationship with Ambush lasted until 1984.

Thomas’s second marriage was to Virginia Lamp Thomas in 1987 in Omaha, Nebraska, United States.

Clarence Thomas has a son named Jamal Adeen Thomas born on 28 September 1973 and is a businessman and lawyer.

Conclusion

As Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Clarence Thomas has often drawn attention not only for his judicial decisions but also for the influence of his background on those decisions. Despite facing obstacles associated with racial discrimination and poverty, Thomas excelled in his education and career. His tenure on the Supreme Court has been characterized by a commitment to originalism and strict interpretation of the Constitution, often resulting in decisions that have drawn strong reactions from both supporters and critics.

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