When you think of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the word “comforting” is not one that usually comes to mind.
Thomas is probably known best for his rigid originalism, which leads to frequent dissenting opinions, and his silence during oral arguments.
According to Regent Law Blog, however, Justice Thomas had some very comforting words a couple of months ago for students struggling with debt while trying to find jobs.
While answering questions from a Con Law class at George Mason University, Thomas used his own story to put law students worried about employment prospects and loan repayment at ease. Thomas told students that he had graduate from law school with a wife and a child and school debt and had accepted a position with the Missouri Attorney General because that was the only job he was offered.
Sure, he did graduate fromYale Law School, but it’s an encouraging story for jobless 3Ls nonetheless. Thomas then went on to work for biotech company Monsanto and then as a Legislative Assistant in the Senate. He then worked in the Reagan administration and was appointed to the D.C. Circuit by George H.W. Bush.
When asked about loans, Thomas told George Mason students that he didn’t finish paying of his student debt until his third year on the Supreme Court!
As for that steely silence during oral arguments? In a New York Times piece from 2000 Thomas explains:
“...I was on that other side of the podium before, in my earlier life, and it's hard to stand up by yourself and to have judges who are going to rule on your case ask you tough questions. I don't want to give them a hard time.”
Who knew Clarence Thomas was such a nice guy?