Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, nominated by President George H. W. Bush and confirmed by the [[Senate]] in 1991. Thomas is the longest-serving current justice and the second African American justice in the history of the Court, following Thurgood Marshall. Thomas is known for his [[conservative]] legal philosophy, as well as his quiet demeanor during oral arguments. ## Early life and education Clarence Thomas was born in Pin Point, Georgia, a small, predominantly African-American community near Savannah. He grew up in poverty, and when his parents divorced, he and his brother went to live with their grandparents in Savannah. Thomas' grandfather, Myers Anderson, was a strong influence on his life, instilling in him the value of hard work and discipline. Thomas attended St. Pius X High School, a Catholic school in Savannah, and then went on to attend Immaculate Conception Seminary in Missouri, where he studied for the priesthood. However, he left the seminary in 1968 and decided to pursue a different path. Thomas then enrolled at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1971. After graduation, he went on to study law at Yale Law School, earning his Juris Doctor in 1974. ## Career After completing law school, Thomas worked as an assistant attorney general in Missouri from 1974 to 1977. He then served as a legislative assistant to Senator John Danforth from 1977 to 1981. In 1981, Thomas joined the [[Ronald Reagan]] administration, where he first worked as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education and later as Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from 1982 to 1990. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush appointed Thomas to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He served on the appeals court for only 16 months before being nominated to [[The Supreme Court]] in 1991, following the retirement of Thurgood Marshall. ![[clarence-thomas.png]] ## Supreme Court nomination and confirmation Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court was met with controversy. During his confirmation hearings, law professor Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment while they had worked together at the EEOC. Thomas vehemently denied the allegations, and the [[Senate]] ultimately confirmed him by a narrow margin of 52-48, making him the 106th justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. ## Judicial philosophy On the Supreme Court, Thomas has consistently taken conservative positions on a wide range of issues, including affirmative action, abortion rights, gun control, and the separation of church and state. He is an advocate of [originalism](, a judicial philosophy that interprets the [[Constitution]] according to the supposed original intent of its framers. Thomas is also known for his belief in a limited role for the federal government and strong protection of states' rights. Thomas is famously reticent during oral arguments, often going years without asking a single question. However, he has been influential through his written opinions, which often provide a detailed and well-reasoned exposition of his views on the Constitution and the law. ## Personal life and Ginni Thomas Clarence Thomas married his first wife, Kathy Ambush, in 1971, and they had one child together. The couple divorced in 1984. In 1987, he married Virginia Lamp, a lawyer and lobbyist, who later became a political commentator and author -- aka the infamous [[Ginni Thomas]], known for her wild and seditious texts with Mark Meadows in the days surrounding [January 6]( See also: [[civil rights]]