Friday, June 23, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Clarence Thomas


Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Clarence Thomas
I had sworn to administer justice "faithfully and impartially." To do otherwise would be to violate my oath. That meant I had no business of imposing my personal views on the country. Nor did I have the slightest intention of doing so.
Thomas quotes
I could only choose between being an outcast and being dishonest.
Thomas
"[I claim] my right to think for myself, to refuse to have my ideas assigned to me as though I was an intellectual slave because I'm black."




Thomas Clarence quotes
I began to suspect that Daddy had been right all along: the only hope I had of changing the world was to change myself first.
Thomas Clarence
I recalled the ants I had watched as a child on the farm, building their hills one grain of sand at a time, only to have them senselessly destroyed in an instant by a passing foot. I'd pieced my life together the same way, slowly and agonizingly. Would it, too, be kicked callously into dust?
Clarence Thomas quotes
I was seized with a guilt that I knew would never leave me, and I knew I didn't deserve to be free of it. I hadn't quite reached the end of my rope, but I was close enough.
Clarence Thomas
How often had he longed to hold us, hug us, grant our every wish, but held himself back for fear of letting us see his vulnerability, believing as he did that real love demanded not affection but discipline?
Thomas Clarence quotes
All I cared about was finding answers, no matter who had them. When, later on, I began to associate with conservatives, it was because their ideas were closer to mine than liberals' ideas, not because I saw myself as one of them. I'd already noticed that it was liberals, not conservatives, who were most likely to condescend to blacks, but I assumed, like the good radical I once was, that liberals and conservatives were simply two different breeds of snake, one stealthy, the other openly hostile.
Thomas
The black people I knew came from different places and backgrounds- social, economic, even ethnic- yet the color of our skin was somehow supposed to make us identical in spite of our differences. I didn't buy it. Of course we had all experienced racism in one way or another, but did that mean that we had to think alike?
Thomas Clarence
I had manufactured artificial goals as a means of motivating myself, using my longing for money, cars, and other material possessions to create a false sense of purpose. They had worked on me like spoonfuls of sugar- a jolt of energy that soon faded, leaving behind the pangs of a deeper hunger. I had cut myself off from the transcendent hope of religion, and now a vast and frightening expanse of uncertainty lay before me.
Clarence Thomas
"[I disagree] that there is a racial paternalism exception to the principle of equal protection. I believe that there is a 'moral [and] constitutional equivalence,' between laws designed to subjugate a race and those that distribute benefits on the basis of race in order to foster some current notion of equality. Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect, and protect us as equal before the law." (concurring in Adarand v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200 (1995))




Clarence Thomas quotes
For a time we wondered why our real father didn't come and rescue us, but we had long since accepted our fate by the time we finally met him.
Clarence Thomas
I often had occasion to remind myself in years to come that self-interest isn't a principle- it's just self-interest.
Thomas quotes
Then, as always, I felt morally obligated to advocate our official position, even when it conflicted with my personal views.
Thomas Clarence
The important thing was that I had never behaved inappropriately toward any woman, and I had no intention of letting my enemies hang that age-old charge of sexual impropriety around my neck. Those who wished only to exploit my past failings, not forgive them, would get no help from me.
Thomas Clarence quotes
I knew that until I was ready to tell the truth as I saw it, I was no better than a politician- but I didn't know whether I would ever be brave enough to break ranks and speak my mind.
Clarence Thomas
Thanks to God's direct intervention, I had risen phoenixlike from the ashes of self-pity and despair, and though my wounds were still raw, I trusted that in time they, too, would heal.
Clarence Thomas quotes
As for the matter of my judicial philosophy, I didn't have one- and didn't want one. A philosophy that is imposed from without instead of arising organically from day-to-day engagement with the law isn't worth having. Such a philosophy runs the risk of becoming an ideology, and I'd spent much of my adult life shying away from abstract ideological theories that served only to obscure the reality of life as it's lived.
Clarence Thomas
Perhaps the fires through which I had passed would have a purifying effect on me, just as a blast furnace burns the impurities out of steel.
Thomas Clarence
"[My] approach recognizes the basic principle of a written Constitution. We "the people" adopted a written Constitution precisely because it has a fixed meaning, a meaning that does not change. Otherwise we would have adopted the British approach of an unwritten, evolving constitution. Aside from amendment according to Article V, the Constitution’s meaning cannot be updated, or changed, or altered by the Supreme Court, the Congress, or the President. Of course, even when strictly interpreted as I believe it should be, the Constitution remains a modern, "breathing" document as some like to call it, in the sense that the Court is constantly required to interpret how its provisions apply to the Constitutional questions of modern life. Nevertheless, strict interpretation must never surrender to the understandably attractive impulse towards creative but unwarranted alterations of first principles." — Speech to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, February 2, 2001


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact