Analysis: Clarence Thomas has waited over 30 years for this moment

As Thomas settles into his fourth decade on the Supreme Court , his influence, even his control, is ascendant. Thomas began his career as a justice as a near outcast — an ideological fringe figure and a scarred veteran of a brutal confirmation fight. Today, he is a revered figure in the conservative movement, and he is watching ideas he championed from the margins turn into the law of the land. For better or worse, Thomas has ignored his many detractors — from those who believed Anita Hill in 1991, when she testified at his confirmation hearings that he had sexually harassed her, to those in 2022 who argued that Thomas should have recused himself in cases where his wife, Ginni Thomas, a right-wing political activist , had taken public stands. Instead, he just keeps winning. The leak in Politico of a draft majority opinion for the court that would overrule Roe v. Wade is a vindication of views that Thomas has pushed since he became a justice. The draft, which rejects a constitutional right to abortion, was written by Justice Samuel Alito, but he draws on ideas that are more associated with Thomas than anyone else now on the court. In 1992, the court reaffirmed Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey , seemingly settling the constitutional right to abortion. But Thomas, in a series of dissenting opinions, kept fighting to reject such a view of the law, and now (it appears) a majority of his colleagues have joined […]

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