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,

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

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