Clarence Thomas is an American jurist who is currently serving as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated by President George H. W. Bush and took his seat in 1991. Thomas is the only incumbent African-American justice on the court and the second one in history, after Thurgood Marshall, who was his predecessor. Prior to his career on the Supreme Court, he served as the chairman for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a judge on the District of Columbia circuit court.
His nomination was contentious. University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill, who had previously been Thomas's assistant at the EEOC, made allegations of sexual harassment against him, which Thomas denied. The Senate confirmed his appointment on a 52-48 vote.
Unlike Marshall, Thomas is very conservative, arguably the most conservative on the current court. He rejects that the due process in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment guarantee the right to an abortion or engage in homosexual behavior, as he has opposed the ruling of Roe v. Wade and dissented in Lawrence v. Texas. Thomas espouses a strict constructionist view on the Commerce Clause to limit the power of the federal government to regulate intrastate activities. He also generally favor the law enforcement over criminal defendants in search and seizure cases.
His spouse, Virginia "Ginni" Thomas is a conservative activist. She recently asked for an apology from Anita Hill. There are varying opinions on whether her activity does, or does not, constitute the appearance of conflict of interest for Justice Thomas.