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Clarence Thomas to Teach a Course at UF ... Still in the Shadow Anita Hill Casts

October 26, 2019 - 9:00am
Justice Clarence Thomas
Justice Clarence Thomas

The University of Florida Law School has risen in respect over time and that has earned the state school a high honor: The UF Levin College of Law will have a sitting Supreme Court justice teach a course in the Spring of 2020. Justice Clarence Thomas will lead a compressed course on the First Amendment as it pertains to religious clauses. 

This being controversial Justice Thomas, however, here come the voices of opposition demanding to be heard. The campus newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, ran a letter to the editor from a group of UF law students. They have formed a brand new group on campus called We Believe Survivors, and they declared this was founded in response to the welcoming of Justice Thomas. Reads a section of their letter:

“Anita Hill, 63, a woman of color and professor at Brandeis School of Law, inspired We Believe Survivors’ mission. Her courage in the face of adversity remains a beacon of strength. In 1991, she testified before Congress at the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Republicans opposed her. Democrats berated her. She detailed horrific acts of sexual misconduct perpetrated against her by her former boss, Thomas. Her words were not enough to change the minds of lawmakers, and Thomas was confirmed.”

Anita Hill in 1991
Anita Hill in 1991
Of primary concern in the complaint is the alluded-to culture of harassment said to be taking place on the UF campus. They also invoke Christine Blasey-Ford, the accuser who came forward in the Brett Kavanaugh hearing. Like Hill, Blasey-Ford’s testimony did not hold up at all in proving guilt. She could not even recollect what year her charge took place, as well as the myriad other issues with her testimony.

None of this is at all influenced by Thomas’ episode three decades ago, nor his appearance. These are students complaining about an incident that predates their birth, so any outrage here has to be muted to a degree. OK, credit to them for at least reading some of the details behind the confirmation of Judge Clarence Thomas. However, these are law students, and as such they should have at least a grasp of the basics of law and courtroom procedure.

Anita Hill’s allegations were not what can be called conclusive. She had never lodged a complaint about Judge Thomas prior to the confirmation. There was no corroboration from others, quotes she attributed to Thomas were found to be cribbed from popular culture, and her claims of being distraught and distrustful were contradicted by documentation that she was in regular contact with Thomas and sought out his support, which she had received. Her declarations of being set back were in contrast to her being helped along. The group however is operating on pure faith. “Levin administration either doesn’t believe Hill, or doesn’t care if her accusations are true. Both of those possibilities are unacceptable.”

How can they declare definitively that Hill’s accusations were “true”. Essentially, the evidence contradicted her testimony. Law students should have a grasp of the significance of this, as well as one other legal precept: presumption of innocence. Thomas is being declared “guilty” without a preponderance of evidence. Not only is reasonable doubt in play, it is unreasonable to state Anita Hill was accurate. 

One member of this new group did allude to the possible contradiction of their outrage not being modulated by the legal evidence. Dalia Figurado told Law.com that they were not effectively trying Justice Thomas as a guilty party. “It’s about holding our administration accountable and for them to acknowledge the concerns students may have.” So even if their outrage is misplaced, and not supported by facts, the concerns of the students take priority over the result.

In other words, their feelings outweigh the legal findings. It’s a good thing these students are still in school. They seem to have plenty left to learn about the law.

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.

Comments

According to the record, Hill took a polygraph test and passed, Thomas just passed on the polygraph, and what about those 4 other women who were lined up to testify corroborating Hill's testimony, they did not get a chance to speak, I welcome justice Thomas to speak about The First Amendment, which guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government. I have hope that an Honorable Man will do the correct thing in front of the students who seek Justice and Honor.

UF needs to be prepared to stop the Antifa thugs who will try to disrupt

So, you continue to refuse to look it up, Greenbarg? Fascism = Untra-nationalism; Ultra-authoritarianism; Ultra-militaristic; Racist. Fits Trump and todays Reppublican party to a "T"! "Antifa" might be the only group(s) that can save us from the fascist Republicans!

“FEELINGS” still resonant in the fully undeveloped minds of law school students towards the greatest Black Conservative in this Nation’s Court System History; and their blind reliance upon the tenets of the fledgling “me too” movement SHOULD preclude these social morons from entrance into prestigious Law Schools (since they will probably “never understand it unless it crosses their U-Tube paths”...(SAD)

Thomas is the ONLY "black conservative" to ever serve on the SC. Thurgood Marshall was the only other black to ever serve on the court - and he was not "conservative". So - your "greatest" comes from a list of - ONE! Ha, ha, ha

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