How Clarence Thomas Broke My Heart

His commitment to colorblindness made him overlook obvious racial bias in a death-penalty case.

Thomas in 2009.

Photographer: Dennis Brack/Bloomberg

As law professors go, I’m pretty sympathetic to Clarence Thomas’s constitutional jurisprudence. It’s not that I agree with him, which I almost never do. But I think he genuinely tries to apply originalism using historical methods. And when it comes to the law of race, where again I disagree with Thomas, I respect his effort to give voice to a distinctive form of conservative black nationalism that insists on colorblindness because it’s better for blacks. 

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