Clarence Thomas, Racist?

One of the big stories in the New York Times today is another Clarence Thomas smear, but with a twist: “Justice Thomas Hires Law Clerk Accused of Sending Racist Text Messages.”

The story is about Crystal Clanton, who graduated from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in 2022. She is coming off a clerkship with Judge William Pryor of the 11th Circuit, who calls her “an outstanding law clerk.” Justice Thomas has now hired her to clerk on the Supreme Court.

For the last seven years, Crystal Clanton has been dogged by reports of an email that she allegedly wrote, in which she supposedly said, “I hate black people.” The Times story admits that they have not seen any such message, and are relying on reporting by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, perhaps the least trustworthy source in America.

In 2017, Clanton was running field operations for Turning Point USA. Mayer did a hit piece on Turning Point that included a variety of allegations, including the one against Clanton. Mayer claimed to have seen a screen shot of the text. The story has dogged Clanton ever since. When she was offered a clerkship on the 11th Circuit by Judge Pryor, seven left-wing members of Congress lodged an ethics complaint against Pryor, based on Clanton’s alleged text. That complaint was investigated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which found the complaint to be without merit and dismissed it.

This January 2022 story has the details. Clanton left Turning Point after the claim against her was first made, but the Second Circuit found it to be false:

The Turning Point executive “had determined that the source of the allegations against (Clanton) was a group of former employees,” [Second Circuit Chief Judge Debra] Livingston wrote. “One of these employees was fired after the organization learned that this person had created fake text messages to be used against co-workers, to make it appear that those co-workers had engaged in misconduct when they had not.”

Pryor and Maze knew about the allegations against Clanton when they interviewed and hired her. And both determined the allegations of racist behavior by Clanton were untrue and found she was highly qualified to serve as a clerk for them, Livingston wrote.

“There is nothing in the record to dispute any of this,” she noted.

Charlie Kirk is also quoted in that story:

“The media has alleged that Crystal said and did things that are simply untrue,” Kirk wrote. “I have first-hand knowledge of the situations reported on and I can assure that the media has made serious errors and omissions. The sources of these reports are a group of former employees that have a well-documented desire to malign Crystal’s reputation.”

The employee who was fired had “created fake text messages to be used against other employees,” Kirk wrote.

Crystal Clanton got to know Ginny Thomas when she worked at Turning Point, and she was evidently so distraught about her departure from that group that she lived with the Thomases for nearly a year. So Thomas knows her well. He wrote a letter in connection with the Second Circuit investigation:

“I know Crystal Clanton and I know bigotry,” Thomas wrote. “Bigotry is antithetical to her nature and character.”

Clanton didn’t respond to the Times’s request for comment in the story they published today, but back in 2017 she told The New Yorker that “I have no recollection of these messages and they do not reflect what I believe or who I am, and the same was true when I was a teenager.”

So there the matter rests. The moral of the story, I suppose, is that the Left never forgets. No matter that she was cleared by an investigation by one of the nation’s courts of appeals; once the Left gets its hands on a smear it never lets go. It will never stop trying to destroy your life. And of course, The New Yorker and the New York Times are two of the worst offenders.

Also, what makes this old story worthy of the Times’s A section? Only the fact that Justice Thomas is involved. The Times doesn’t care about a law clerk of whom few people have heard, but it cares deeply about smearing the country’s top conservative African-American. But what, exactly, are we supposed to infer from the Times story? That Clarence Thomas is weirdly favorable to those who hate black people?

A final irony: Supreme Court justices have no doubt hired any number of clerks who have written and spoken favorably about DEI, which actually is racist. But there is no controversy there: on the contrary, endorsing that form of racism is a badge of honor.

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