Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas has taken a lot of flak from congressional Democrats for his critiques of affirmative-action hiring rules. But Thomas' views on Congress' own record as an employer could make his critics squirm. As chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Thomas had harsh words for lawmakers' refusal to apply federalantibias rules to themselves. And he championed the struggle of mainly black cafeteria workers on the Hill to unionize against congressional opposition. In a 1989 interview with BUSINESS WEEK, Thomas said: "I take to heart James Madison's warning that the only way the legislature will prevent itself from tyrannizing the populace is to make sure that the laws it passes apply to the legislators themselves."

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