Magazine June 24, 2019, Issue

Clarence Thomas’s Quest to Recover the Lost Constitution

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in Washington, D.C., June 1, 2017 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution, by Myron Magnet (Encounter, 184 pp., $23.99)

Picture Clarence Thomas as a legal Indiana Jones, dodging slings and arrows to rescue a valuable and powerful relic from the wrong hands after it fell into undeserved obscurity. That’s the thesis of Myron Magnet’s new book. Magnet, a longtime editor of City Journal, isn’t himself a lawyer, though he is at ease explaining legal arguments for non-lawyers. So this isn’t weighty legal scholarship or a thorough biography. It is, rather, a potboiler, briskly surveying how our founding charter went missing, what impelled Justice Thomas to go looking for it, and what he unearthed. At the end of the journey,

This article appears as “Raider of The Lost Constitution” in the June 24, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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