At the Supreme Court, Justice Thomas Scoffs at Retirement Rumors

“Some of us,” he said, “have experienced the whole alphabet.”

Justice Thomas discussed his goal as a young man of becoming a Roman Catholic priest, an aim he said he has never entirely abandoned. “That was the only thing I ever really wanted to be,” he said.

He dropped out of seminary, he said, because of a disagreement with the church’s relationship to the civil rights movement. “I got angry with the Catholic church over the issue of race,” he said. “I thought that the church should be the leader of the moral crusade against segregation and discrimination.”

Justice Thomas said he was “ideologically quite a bit to the left” in college and chose Yale Law School because he found Harvard Law School “way too conservative.”

“I know that sounds funny now,” he said.

He overlapped with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. at Yale, but the two men did not interact. Justice Alito later explained why.

“‘Clarence, you were scary,’” Justice Thomas, chuckling, recalled Justice Alito of saying.

In the interview, Justice Thomas made only a glancing reference to his stormy confirmation hearings, which featured accusations of sexual harassment. “I was in a world of trouble,” he said.

He also expressed frustration with what he said was intellectual stereotyping.

“People who will get very upset if someone said all blacks look alike are really comfortable saying all blacks ought to think alike,” Justice Thomas said.

“If you said that blacks should not be allowed to go a library, you’d be against that,” he said. “If you said that blacks couldn’t read certain books in the library, you would say that’s wrong.”

“But now we are so comfortable saying that blacks can’t hold some of the ideas in some of the books in the library,” Justice Thomas said. “That’s absurd.”

Source

more recommended stories

  • In Conservative Michigan, Voters Want to Love Trump, Not Leave Him

    Voters in a part of the.

  • On Politics: Trump’s History With Race

    • House Republicans are also gearing.

  • Louisiana Police Officer on Facebook Says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘Needs a Round’

    A Facebook post by a Louisiana.

  • ‘The Hate Is Real’: Black Georgia Lawmaker Says She Was Berated at Supermarket

    A black member of Georgia’s House.

  • Trump Sets the Terms on Racial Division. Do Democrats Know What to Do?

    GREENVILLE, N.C. — President Trump waited.

  • ‘If You Obey, You Will Be Safe’: Audio Emerges of Iran and U.K. Exchanges Before Tanker Is Seized

    LONDON — A British warship tried.

  • In 88 Trips to Capitol Hill, Mueller Grew Weary of Partisanship

    WASHINGTON — Days after he was.

  • Fact-Checking Trump’s Claims That Democrats Are Radical Socialists

    And Mr. Trump’s fellow Republicans have.

  • A New Red Scare Is Reshaping Washington

    “This is the defining event of.

  • Inmates Freed as Justice Dept. Tries to Clear Hurdles of New Law

    WASHINGTON — More than 3,000 inmates.

  • Appeals Court Judges Send Emoluments Suit Against Trump Back to a Lower Court

    WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court.

  • Intelligence Chief Names New Election Security Oversight Official

    ASPEN, Colo. — An experienced official.

  • N.S.A. Contractor Who Hoarded Secrets at Home Is Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison

    The case of Harold T. Martin.

  • Polishing the Nationalist Brand in the Trump Era

    WASHINGTON — Ever since Donald J..

  • We Went to the Moon. Why Can’t We Solve Climate Change?

    [Read all Times reporting on the.

  • On Politics: Biden-Harris Rematch to Headline Second Debates

    Good Friday morning. Here are some.

  • How Trump’s Twitter Attack Against Democrats Evolved Into ‘Send Her Back’ Chant

    On Sunday, in what was widely.

  • Mortimer Caplin, Tactful but Tough Tax Collector, Dies at 103

    As I.R.S. commissioner in the Kennedy.

  • American to Lead NATO Intelligence as Iraq-War-Era Concerns About U.S. Linger

    NATO diplomats carefully balance the top.

  • House to Vote on Raising Federal Minimum Wage to $15

    “What we’re doing is working,” said.

  • 2020 Won’t Repeat the Mistakes of 2016, Whatever They Were

    WASHINGTON — Democrats still don’t agree.

  • On Politics: House Kills Impeachment Resolution

    • The National Republican Congressional Committee.

  • At North Carolina Rally, Trump Bets on Divisive Attacks as Way to Bolster Re-election Bid

    “Big Rally tonight in Greenville, North.

  • House Passes Intelligence Bill That Would Expand Secrecy Around Operatives

    WASHINGTON — The House passed a.

  • Trump and Epstein Partied and Commented on Women in 1992 Video

    WASHINGTON — President Trump has been.

  • 5 Ways John Paul Stevens Made a Mark on the Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON — Justice John Paul Stevens,.

  • With Name-Calling and Twitter Battles, House Republican Campaign Arm Copies Trump’s Playbook

    “I hope the lesson the N.R.C.C..

  • Top Myanmar Generals Are Barred From Entering U.S. Over Rohingya Killings

    BANGKOK — The United States has.

  • Iran Rejects Pompeo’s Suggestion It Is Willing to Negotiate Over Missile Program

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike.

  • Trump’s New Top Labor Official Is Expected to Advance an Anti-Labor Agenda

    Congressional Republicans, members of their staffs.

  • Roger Stone Is Barred From Social Media After Posts Attacking Russia Inquiry

    WASHINGTON — A federal judge on.

  • North Korea Warns U.S. to Quit Military Drills With South Korea

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea.