by Floyd and Mary Beth Brown
Twenty years ago this month, Clarence Thomas was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The battle to confirm him was vicious, and Floyd had a front row seat.
Thomas was tapped by President George H. W. Bush earlier in the summer of 1991, and we all knew it was going to get ugly. We didn’t realize it would be a racially charged lynching. We knew it would be ugly because, as the Left has lost the power of ideas, they have increasingly turned to the politics of vilification and personal destruction to destroy conservative jurists and leaders in the media.
Most conservatives watched in horror as the Left shredded the career and personal life of Judge Robert Bork. Bork had been nominated by Ronald Reagan for the court in 1987. By all accounts Bork was brilliant and qualified. When the Left was done pawing his garbage and stealing his library records, we hardly recognized the man. So, we were prepared in 1991.
L. Brent Bozell III and Floyd, knowing the dubious character of the U.S. Senators on the Judiciary Committee prepared an ad entitled “Who will Judge the Judge.” Then we reviewed the resumes of the panel: “Ted Kennedy, suspended from Harvard for cheating, left the scene of the accident at Chappaquiddick and this year Palm Beach.” We finished the ad by sharing about Joseph Biden’s plagiarism and Alan Cranston’s cozy relationship with busted banker Charles Keating.
Needless to say, when the dirt started to fly about Clarence Thomas, the senators’ pontificating would be exposed as hypocrites. When we prepared the ad and aired it to massive television coverage, we had no idea about Anita Hill. We just knew it was going to get nasty.
We don’t really want to recount the embarrassing week of Hill’s testimony, because she was clearly a fraud, and the whole rouse to accuse Thomas of sexual harassment was dismissed and Thomas was confirmed by the Senate.
Many of us thought it would stop once he was on the bench. Once again, we were unable to understand the depth of hatred carried in the hearts of these hardcore left-wing radicals. They have been obsessing about Judge Thomas now for more than 20 years.
We only bring this up because of a bizarre twist taken in some of the latest attacks. Floyd made the commercial while he was President of Citizens United. Floyd left Citizens United in 2007, and together we launched this column and his blog, floydreports.com. But Floyd’s successor at Citizens United, David Bossie, launched a legal assault on the McCain-Feingold law. This eventually led to the landmark decision by the Supreme Court that the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from censoring political broadcasts.
Now conjured up in the minds of these conspiracy minded left-wingers, they believe Judge Thomas voted with the majority as pay back for the ad Citizen United produced in 1991.
There are many problems with these lunatics’ argument, including the simple fact that McCain-Feingold was passed in 2002, more than a decade after Thomas was confirmed.
Using this same logic you would have to keep Thurgood Marshall, the justice whom Thomas replaced, from hearing civil rights cases brought by the NAACP, because for years he actually worked as the NAACP’s lawyer. In the Thomas case, the connection is even less evident.
Floyd doesn’t even know Justice Thomas. That doesn’t mean we haven’t admired his record on the court. We both believe his record on the bench has been outstanding. And we take pleasure in whatever small role we may have played in getting his nomination confirmed.