Clarence Thomas as Bill Clinton?

Scott Gerber s-gerber at ONU.EDU
Tue Oct 9 08:43:28 PDT 2001

I'll be interested to read the book.  The Weekly Standard article from
which it sprang isn't very good.

The paperback edition of my 1999 NYU Press book, First Principles:  The
Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas, will be published in the spring.  It will
include a new Afterword in which I discuss Justice Thomas's performance,
and the reaction to his performance, since his acclimation period ended.
There has been some change on the Left to Justice Thomas's performance,
although the attached newspaper story isn't an example of it.  However, the
story is an example of how much attention Justice Thomas continues to
receive:  _far_ more than any other member of the Rehnquist Court (at least
in quantitative terms).

Best wishes,
Scott Gerber

At 03:22 PM 10/8/2001 -0500, you wrote:
> Book: Thomas Discussed Roe v. Wade
>              Filed at 2:52 p.m. ET
>WASHINGTON (AP)-- A biography of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
>contends he discussed the Roe v. Wade abortion decision with at least three
>people before his confirmation hearings, even though he
>told a Senate committee he had not.
>       Under Senate questioning in 1991, Thomas said he had never debated
>the contents or outcome of the 1973 Supreme Court decision that found a
>constitutional right to abortion, and had no personal opinion
>about it.
>       ``Clarence Thomas, a Biography'' by Andrew Peyton Thomas, includes
>interviews with three people who
>say Clarence Thomas discussed the case in varying detail in conversations
>in the mid-1970s through the 1980s.
>        The first, a lawyer named Michael Boicourt, worked with Thomas in
>the Missouri attorney general's office. He said Thomas was against
>abortion, but Boicourt could not recall more specific views the future
>justice might have expressed on what was then a recent decision.
>         While working for the Reagan administration in Washington in the
>1980s, according to the book, Thomas talked about the case with
>then-Assistant Attorney General William Bradford Reynolds, and with a
>friend, Armstrong Williams, who went on to become a conservative
>commentator and radio host.
>         ``I know we discussed it. I think that he thought little of Roe v.
>Wade,'' Reynolds is quoted as saying. While Thomas did not state his views
>as forcefully as Reynolds, who said he found the decision
>``constitutionally bankrupt,'' it was clear from their conversations that
>Thomas took a dim view of the decision on constitutional grounds, Reynolds
>        Williams said both Thomas and he opposed the decision.
>        ``He would also talk about where the Supreme Court ... erred on
>some of these decisions,'' Williams said in the book. ``He thought they
>weren't interpreting the Constitution but trying to make law.''
>         A spokeswoman for the high court said Justice Thomas would have no
>comment on the unauthorized biography.
>         The book, published this month by Encounter Books, is mostly a
>sympathetic portrait that grew out of an article in the conservative Weekly
>         Author Andrew Peyton Thomas, who is not related to Clarence
>Thomas, referred to the nominee's confirmation answers under oath about Roe
>v. Wade as possibly ``Clintonesque.''

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