Justice Clarence Thomas spoke out about his contentious 1991 Supreme Court nomination and how the “biggest impediment” in his life hadn’t been bigots or racists but the “modern-day liberal” in a new documentary set to release next year.
The upcoming documentary, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words,” is set to air on PBS in May. The film, created by conservative director Michael Pack, interviews only Justice Thomas and his wife and is largely sympathetic to the conservative justice, according to Time magazine, which saw saw an advanced screening on Tuesday.
“There’s different sets of rules for different people,” Justice Thomas said in the film, according to Time. “If you criticize a black person who’s more liberal, you’re a racist. Whereas you can do whatever to me, or to now [HUD Secretary] Ben Carson, and that’s fine, because you’re not really black because you’re not doing what we expect black people to do.”
In the documentary, Justice Thomas recounted his controversial 1991 confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee and Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against him.
“‘This is the wrong black guy, he has to be destroyed,'” he said, characterizing his political opponents, Time reported. “Just say it. And now at least we’re honest with each other.
“Most of my opponents on the Judiciary Committee cared about only one thing: how would I rule on abortion rights?” he said. “You really didn’t matter, and your life didn’t matter. What mattered was what they wanted. And what they wanted was this particular issue.
“The idea was to get rid of me,” he said. “And then after I was there, it was to undermine me.”
According to Time, “Thomas says his experience in the hearings made him realize that he had been expecting a certain type of person — as he described them, the ‘bigot, Klansman, and rural sheriff’ — to hold him back over the course of his life. But the confirmation hearing changed his mind.”
“It turned out that through all of that, ultimately the biggest impediment was the modern-day liberal,” he said.
Mr. Pack interviewed Justice Thomas for more than 30 hours over a six-month period, which wrapped up just before Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court in 2018, Time reported.
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