Clarence Thomas’ new clerk was accused of racist rhetoric. Enter right-wing revisionism

Clarence Thomas’ new clerk was accused of racist rhetoric. Enter right-wing revisionism

For a young law school graduate, securing a Supreme Court clerkship is like being a first-round draft pick in the NFL or NBA draft. Each of the nine justices can appoint four clerks per one-year term, and it’s a golden ticket. Former SCOTUS clerks often land at elite law firms with signing bonuses of up to $500,000, and eventually a federal judgeship, or a top academic or political position.

Some of Justice Clarence Thomas’ law clerks have gained notoriety after they left the post. The list includes Fox News host Laura Ingraham; John Yoo, best known for writing memos providing a legal justification for torturing detainees after 9/11 during President George W. Bush’s administration; and John Eastman, who penned a memo outlining a plan for Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election results.

Thomas’ newest law clerk holds the distinction of gaining notoriety before she even entered law school, for allegedly sending racist text messages. 

“I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like f‑‑‑ them all … I hate blacks. End of story,” Crystal Clanton wrote to a Turning Point USA colleague, according to screenshots obtained for a 2017 story in The New Yorker by Jane Mayer about the conservative group.

But those closest to Clanton—including Thomas and his ultra-MAGA wife, Ginni—have been rewriting that history. 

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