Clarence Thomas takes aim at DC's 'hideous' political attack culture

By Sarah May on
 May 12, 2024

The nation's capital has always been a tough environment for those who take an active role in the country's governance, but according to one high-profile figure, conditions there are getting out of hand.

During a recent appearance, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas lamented the intensity of partisan criticisms sent his way in recent months, noting the personal nature of the attacks he has received, as the Washington Examiner reports.

Thomas lets loose

At the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference on Friday, Thomas made his feelings known about the prevailing culture in Washington, D.C. and the untruths he says his detractors have spread, as Fox News details.

Thomas' remarks were spurred by a question from a conference participant, who asked what it was like to operate in a realm characterized by its mean-spiritedness.

The longtime justice began by saying, “I think there's challenges to that.”

“We're in a world and we – certainly my wife and I the last two or three years it's been – just the nastiness and lies, it's just incredible,” he said, referencing his spouse, conservative activist Ginny Thomas.

Offering some further insight into his perspective on the situation, Thomas continued, “But you have some choices. You don't get to prevent people from doing horrible things or saying horrible things. But one you have to understand and accept the fact that they can't change you unless you permit that.”

Favorite target of the left

Thomas has long been a target of intense scrutiny from the political left, and he has faced questions in recent years about a series of controversies some say have rendered him too conflicted to serve on the high court.

A ProPublica report from last year called into question a number of trips Thomas accepted from top GOP donor Harlan Crow.

Though Thomas insisted that the ethics rules in effect at the time did not require disclosure of the travel, the justice has remained a target of liberal ire just the same.

In addition, Thomas has faced scrutiny over his refusal to step aside from hearing cases stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol unrest, even though his wife was heavily involved in efforts questioning the validity of the 2020 presidential election results.

Not holding back

Though Thomas did not venture into the specifics of the allegations leveled against him by his critics, he lamented the determination of “reckless” individuals in Washington to “bomb your reputation” if it furthers their political ends.

“They don't bomb you necessarily, but they bomb your reputation or your good name or your honor. And that's not a crime. But they can do as much harm that way,” Thomas asserted.

Summing up his feelings Thomas mused that folks in D.C. “pride themselves on being awful,” adding that the city is “a hideous place,” expressing sentiments with which countless Americans surely concur.

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