Who is the only current black U.S. Supreme Court justice?

Answered by Tom Adger

The only current black U.S. Supreme Court justice is Clarence Thomas. He has held this position since October 23, 1991, making him the longest-serving member of the Court with a tenure of over 30 years. Clarence Thomas was nominated by President George H. W. Bush and succeeded Thurgood Marshall.

Clarence Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court was significant, as he became the second African American to serve on the Court after Thurgood Marshall, who retired in 1991. Thomas’s confirmation process was highly controversial and garnered significant media attention. He faced allegations of sexual harassment during the confirmation hearings, which led to a contentious and divided Senate vote of 52-48 in favor of his confirmation.

Despite the controversy surrounding his confirmation, Clarence Thomas has had a lasting impact on the Supreme Court. Throughout his tenure, he has established himself as a conservative voice on the Court, often advocating for originalism and textualism in interpreting the Constitution. He has been known for his belief in a limited role for the judiciary and his strict adherence to the Constitution’s original meaning.

Thomas’s judicial philosophy and opinions have frequently aligned with those of fellow conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, with whom he shared a close friendship. Their shared commitment to originalism and textualism resulted in a number of joint opinions and a significant influence on the Court’s conservative jurisprudence.

Throughout his career, Clarence Thomas has authored numerous notable opinions on a wide range of issues. He has consistently taken conservative positions on matters such as affirmative action, gun rights, and the separation of church and state. Thomas has often expressed skepticism towards the expansion of federal power and has advocated for the protection of individual liberties.

As the most senior associate justice on the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas has played a vital role in shaping the Court’s decisions and jurisprudence. His longevity on the bench has allowed him to leave a lasting impact on American law and policy. Despite being a controversial figure, Thomas’s influence and contributions to the Supreme Court cannot be understated.

Clarence Thomas is the only current black U.S. Supreme Court justice. His appointment in 1991 marked a significant moment in American history, and he has since served as a conservative voice on the Court. Throughout his tenure, Thomas has consistently advocated for originalism and textualism in interpreting the Constitution, leaving a lasting impact on the Court’s jurisprudence.