Clarence Thomas

Ginni Thomas could be accidently dialing Anita Hill in this photo.

By now it’s ancient news that Virginia “Ginni” Thomas — wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, Tea Party-er, and Heritage Club Foundation member — lost her damn mind and called Anita Hill. Many news outlets have speculated as to what in God’s name could possibly have motivated Ginni to “reach across the airwaves and the years” and ask for an apology, like some creepy ex-boyfriend from high school who hasn’t moved on.

Some of them conclude with infuriating non-theories like “only time will tell” or “we’ll never know.”  That is unacceptable.

I’ve compiled a list of sung and unsung theories of the phone call and included a reader poll, so that we as a community can determine what really happened, record it in Wikipedia, and get on with our lives. Because, as Ginni herself might say, this is America. And majority rules….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Seven Theories on Ginni Thomas’s Call to Anita Hill & A Reader Poll”

Erin Andrews

* Ginni Thomas cancels a radio appearance in the wake of the controversy over her phone call to Anita Hill. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

* Consistent with its name, TheDirty website takes the view that you can’t keep (nude photos of) a good woman down. [The Not-So-Private Parts / Forbes]

* Congratulations to Stephen Dillard, who proves that it is possible to maintain a blog and still win a judicial appointment. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

* If you receive a crazy or funny departure memo, please send it to us — or send it to this website (especially if you don’t work for a legal employer). [Last Day at the Office Emails]

* Given my love for Lady Gaga, it should come as no surprise that I’m looking forward to speaking at Cornell Law tomorrow. [Cornell Law School]

* Law professor Jay Wexler is willing to offer Christine O’Donnell some help on separation of church and state. [Holy Hullabaloos]

As I tweeted last night, and we mentioned in Morning Docket earlier today, this Ginni Thomas story is the most ridiculous thing ever. In case you’ve been excommunicated from the internet all day, here’s what happened.

Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, called up Anita Hill — the woman Justice Thomas allegedly sexually harassed — and asked her to apologize. According to a statement released by Ms. Thomas, she called Hill to “extend an olive branch.”

I’ve got lots and lots of jokes about this — most of which are unfit for publication (trust me, you do not want me to go there). So instead of taking pot shots that would range from soft drink preferences to the state of interracial dating and marriage, let’s just ask this simple question:

What was she thinking?

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* Virginia Thomas, the politically active wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, called Anita Hill and suggested she apologize to Clarence in order to get “passed” the whole ugliness. Does that blow your mind, Anita? That JUST happened! [ABC News; New York Times]

* Foreclosed homeowners smell blood, and K&L Gates… well, they probably smell a gold mine. [Reuters]

* Former Jenkens & Gilchrist attorney Erwin Mayer faces up to 10 years in prison for actions that helped bring down the firm. Someone must pay for this abortion of a video. [WSJ Law Blog]

* The government is shelling out plenty of coin to settle a discrimination suit brought against the USDA by Native Americans. This Italian dude shed a single tear upon hearing the news. [CNN]

* The Pentagon has instructed military recruiters to accept the applications of openly gay men and lesbians. [Washington Post]

* I wouldn’t say trial lawyers are in bed with the Democratic Party. But they’re definitely engaged in some heavy petting. [National Law Journal]

* The law school cares about your crappy job prospects, Boston College 3L. Too bad caring isn’t going to pay back that mountain of debt, sucker. [Boston Herald]

A tale of two Yalies: former president Bill Clinton and aspiring senator Joe Miller.

According to the all-powerful ranking gods of U.S. News, Yale Law School is the nation’s #1 law school. In fact, Yale has been the top law school ever since the magazine started ranking law schools.

Recently, however, controversy has arisen over possible damage to the school’s reputation. As first reported in today’s New York Daily News, former President Bill Clinton and Alaska Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller are pointing fingers at each other for “diminish[ing] the university’s reputation as an elite institution.”

Let’s explore the spat — and review and vote on the seven contenders for Yale Law School’s most disgraceful graduate….

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A gallery of seven rogues and a poll.

Monday, October 4, marked the start of a new Supreme Court Term — October Term 2010, to be more specific. It also marked the first day of oral arguments for the newest member of the Court — Lady Kaga, aka Associate Justice Elena Kagan. As Justice White famously observed, a new justice makes a new court.

New Term, new justice, new court — and that’s not all that’s new in SCOTUS-related matters. There’s a new conservative sheriff in town, at least according to Jan Crawford. There’s a new book out about the Court — the long-awaited biography of Justice Brennan, by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel.

And, of course, we have new Supreme Court clerk hires to report, for the Term after this one — October Term 2011. Not all the justices are done hiring, at least as far as we know; but if you covet a Supreme Court clerkship, accurately described by Adam Liptak as “the most coveted credential in American law,” you should know that the window of opportunity is closing — fast. One justice has even hired a clerk for October Term 2012.

Let’s check out the new hires, shall we?

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A Supreme Court clerkship is, in the words of Adam Liptak of the New York Times, “the most coveted credential in American law.” When SCOTUS clerks leave their posts at the Court to join private law firms, they get signing bonuses of as much as $250,000 (on top of normal associate salaries and bonuses).

But typically they join their firms as associates (or maybe counsel, if they have a few extra years of practice in addition to clerking). How many clerks come in to Biglaw as partners?

As reported yesterday — by Tony Mauro in The BLT and by Marisa Kashino in Washingtonian magazine, among others — at least one Supreme Court clerk from the Term just ended, October Term 2009, is going to straight into a partnership at a major law firm.

Meet Elizabeth Papez. She clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas in OT 2009. Now she’s joining the D.C. office of Winston & Strawn, where she will practice in commercial and appellate litigation, with a focus on intellectual property and energy law, as well as government relations.

We interview Papez about her interesting career path, after the jump.

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Justice Clarence Thomas got bad news yesterday from Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. His nephew, Derek Thomas, had an epileptic seizure after hospital staff used a taser on him. From ABC 26 News:

According to a statement from the family, Derek Thomas, who is epileptic, refused to put on a hospital gown and tried to leave his examination after a possible suicide attempt. They say security “punched him in his lip, pulled out more than a fistful of his dredlocks and tasered him to restrain him.”

Doctors knew about Thomas’ epilepsy, but ordered security officers to use the taser anyway, instead of sedating him, the family says.

Ouch.

Clarence Thomas is allegedly outraged and plans to fly down to New Orleans to check on his nephew, according to ABC 26 News. And because this facility sounds a wee bit unpleasant, the family is trying to have Derek Thomas transferred somewhere else.

At least this is happening after the term has ended. He can deal with this crisis more easily with the Court in recess, just as Justice Ginsburg has the summer to grieve for her husband.

Video report from Jefferson Parish, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Don’t Tase Him, Bro — His Uncle’s a Supreme Court Justice”

Our recent suggestion that Justice Clarence Thomas consider a presidential run in 2012 has caused some chatter in the legal and political blogosphere (as well as the ATL comments section, where the commenter “President Obama” took all comers). Despite this healthy buzz, CT has not yet indicated any plans to slap a campaign poster on his RV this summer.

We submitted inquiries about our proposal to Justice Thomas, through the Supreme Court’s Publication Information Office, and to Mrs. Thomas, through Liberty Central, her new conservative nonprofit. Neither had any comment. We hear through the grapevine, however, that the idea of “Thomas for President” has been proposed to the justice by clerks in years past (and not embraced by the justice; apparently His Honor is content to remain a justice, despite his conspicuous silence from the bench).

Law professors had interesting things to say about our idea of a Thomas presidential run. George Mason law professor Ilya Somin took us very seriously (perhaps a little too seriously). Northwestern law professor Steven Lubet pointed out that Charles Evan Hughes isn’t the only SCOTUS justice who has previously given up a seat at One First Street for a shot at the Oval Office. And although we suggested that Thomas shed his robes to make his run for the Republican presidential ticket, UCLA law professor Stephen Bainbridge noted that CT could keep them on…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More on ‘Clarence Thomas in 2012′”

In his speaking tours around the country, Clarence Thomas has a lot to say — sometimes critical things to say, about his fellow justices’ approach to oral argument and the lack of alma mater diversity among the Court’s clerks, for example.

But when Thomas is back at One First Street, sitting on the bench, he gets quiet. Very quiet. He hasn’t spoken a word during oral argument in over four years. He’s said before that it’s because he doesn’t see the point in badgering the attorneys arguing before the High Court. But we think there may be another reason: he hates his job. He’s suggested it himself.

In the Washington Post, we set forth a proposal for him: step down. And seek the Republican presidential nomination for 2012.

A bit about our reasoning, and a reader poll, after the jump.

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