The 25th anniversary of Justice Clarence Thomas’s confirmation to the Supreme Court has featured testimonials from his supporters, a symposium on his jurisprudence and tributes from conservative legal scholars about his influence on the court.We know that during his confirmation hearings, there was another women in addition to Anita Hill who was similarly harrassed, but she was never called to testify by the head of the Judiciary Committee, Joe Biden.
But Thursday brought an unwelcome echo of the sexual harassment allegations that almost derailed his 1991 nomination: An Alaska lawyer told the National Law Journal that Thomas groped her at a dinner party in 1999, when she was a young Truman Foundation scholar in Washington.
Through a court spokeswoman, Thomas told the publication: “This claim is preposterous and it never happened.”
The woman, Moira Smith, said she decided to make the allegations not because of Thomas but because of Donald Trump. She posted the information on her Facebook page on Oct. 7, hours after the media disclosed that Trump had boasted on tape about grabbing women.
“When Justice Thomas touched me inappropriately and without my consent, I was 23 years old — and felt there was nothing I could do,” Smith said in a statement released Wednesday. “Seventeen years later, it is clear that sexual harassment, misconduct and assault continue to be pervasive, having an impact on all women. I choose to speak out now in the hope that this will change.”
Smith said she was helping her boss at the dinner party when the incident occurred. Guests contacted by the National Law Journal said they saw nothing untoward. Smith, who posed for a photo with the justice later that night, did not tell them Thomas had grabbed her buttocks.
But friends said Smith told them about the alleged groping that same night and the next morning, and they were not surprised when Smith again recounted the incident earlier this month.
“I don’t remember the specific timeline,” Amy Hertel Buckley, 39, another Truman scholar at the dinner that night, told The Washington Post. “But when I saw her Facebook post, it was instantly familiar to me. It’s been a long time, but she definitely told me about that after it happened.”
Marcia Coyle, the longtime Supreme Court reporter who wrote the story, said Smith did not come forward. Smith initially made her Facebook posting private so that only friends could see it, Coyle said. Smith made it public after friends told her she should.
A source told Coyle about the posting — Smith’s Facebook account has now been deactivated — and Coyle interviewed her and others who corroborated her account over a two-week period, according to the NLJ report.
As such, it's no surprise that Thomas is a serial abuser.
If Clarence Thomas had any shame (Bush v. Gore shows that he doesn't) he would resign sooner rather than later, but shame, honesty, and integrity are simply not a part of his makeup.
Still, if we end up with a 7 member court as a result, it means a non-wingnut majority on SCOTUS, which would be a very good thing.
I can haz schadenfreude?
I added the last three paragraphs to the post, which make it clear that this was a private posting between friends that got leaked to the press.