Clarence Thomas, an American Justice

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Capitol Hill in 2008. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
On the uniquely American story and jurisprudence of Justice Thomas

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I first met Justice Clarence Thomas in June 1992, at the end of his first year on the Supreme Court. He was interviewing me, a 25-year-old fresh out of law school, for a clerkship job. He found me to have strong opinions and little experience. Revealing an early wisdom, he hired someone else. Displaying his generosity, he changed his mind a year later.

The interview remains indelible in my memory, as meetings with Justice Thomas probably do for most everyone. I was expecting a grilling about interpretive theories, the importance (or not) of past decisions, or his early opinions and speeches

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John Yoo is the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

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