On Saturday, February 24, 2024, The Washington Post published an opinion piece by Associate Editor Ruth Marcus criticizing the recent hiring of Crystal Clanton as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Marcus raised concerns about texts allegedly sent by Clanton in 2015 while she was working for a conservative group allied with Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas. The texts reportedly stated “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE” and “I hate blacks. End of story.” Clanton did not deny sending the texts when questioned about them by The New Yorker in 2017 but said she did not recall them and they did not reflect her beliefs.

She was subsequently terminated from her role with Turning Point USA. However, she was hired by Ginni Thomas to live with the Thomases in Virginia. Justice Thomas then recommended her to Judge William Pryor of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee filed an ethics complaint regarding Clanton’s hiring, but it was dismissed.

The dismissal letter from Chief Judge Debra Ann Livingston of the 2nd Circuit Court claimed investigations found no misconduct, quoting Thomas and Pryor who said the allegations against Clanton were untrue and out of character. However, Marcus argued this claim did not align with prior statements from Turning Point USA’s CEO acknowledging Clanton was terminated over the texts.

In July 2022, the Judicial Conference committee overseeing federal courts ordered a further investigation. But the 2nd Circuit declined, maintaining the dismissal was final. Marcus criticized the judicial system for failing to properly enforce ethics rules, saying the situation reflected poorly on Clanton, Thomas, and the entire federal judiciary.

The opinion piece recounted the details of the alleged racist texts, Clanton’s subsequent employment, and the judicial response to dismiss ethics complaints, arguing the judiciary proved unwilling to sufficiently examine concerns around the hiring of a former employee accused of making racist statements.



Source: The Washington Post