Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

politics

Justice Thomas Says Court Confirmation Shouldn’t Be ‘Spectacle’

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whose 1991 nomination divided the country, said the judicial confirmation process is driving away some of the best candidates because they don’t want to be part of a "spectacle."

Thomas, who was confirmed 52-48 amid accusations of sexual harassment, said Thursday he didn’t have "bitter feelings or anything like that." He spoke at the Library of Congress, where he answered questions from one of his former law clerks.

"This is not the Roman Colosseum. We’re not gladiators," Thomas said. "I think we’re going to lose some of our best people who choose not to go through the ordeal. They don’t want to have to fight the lion in order to be a judge or to be in government."

He added: "We are going to at some point have the leadership we deserve because we allowed the selection process to get out of our control."

"I think a lot of people have second thoughts," he said. "I can’t tell you how many people I know who in the middle of it said, ‘What was I thinking?’"

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