Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas

If you’d like to feel physically ill about the charades that went on in Washington almost 20 years ago wherein Clarence Thomas was shoved down the Senate’s throats and confirmed to the Supreme Court, this is your book. It is incomprehensible that Thomas can exist– pulling the ladder up after him and cutting away voter protections and affirmative action protections that helped his career. The judge most unprepared, least experienced for nomination, served up by Bush to appease two various groups– the far right (where Thomas’s ideals leaned in extreme tilt) and those who wanted to see Thurgood Marshall replaced by another black man. The book goes into the backroom deals leading up to his confirmation hearing, while exploring the parallel line of what Thomas’s early years were like, his dealings with women, and detailing Anita Hill’s life. Hill was conflicted about coming forward with her report, rightfully so if viewed with the brutal harassment she felt at the hands of the politicos; she was contacted by members of the Labor Committee who were following up on tips they’d received and agreed to talk to them. The information sat bouncing around Washington for weeks like a hot potato, no one wanted to touch it. Finally, Hill became exasperated that her information was going nowhere and agreed to go on record as a named accuser. That Joe Biden’s handling of the procedure was clumsy is an understatement. He allowed the conversation to be restricted to Hill’s accusation alone, barring information about Thomas’s pornography habits and other relevant bits. And Biden gavelled the hearings closed before the other women who had been harassed could come forward, Angela Wright waiting in the wings. The only hint of positivity about the entire affair was the response of Washington’s women to take this seriously.