Republicans push proposal for Capitol statue honoring Clarence Thomas
Some Republican legislators have been pushing a proposal to erect a statue of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on the grounds of the Georgia Capitol. They claim they are gaining support to honor Thomas from fellow Republicans. Thomas, a native of Pin Point, Georgia. The legislators’ sponsoring this effort include State Senators Jason Anavitarte, Ben Watson, and Brian Strickland. House Speaker David Ralston’s name has been mentioned as favoring this effort. His spokesman said, “Speaker Ralston admires and respects Justice Clarence Thomas as a Georgian who has served our nation on the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. He’s open to a discussion of how to properly honor such a distinguished record of public service.”
Democrats are less than happy about the suggestion from across the aisle. One legislator, state Rep. Donna McLeod said, “I’d rather them keep a Confederate monument than a statue of Clarence Thomas. That’s how much I don’t like the idea.”
Appointed by George Bush in 1991, Thomas is the nation’s longest serving justice. A Pin Point, Georgia native, Thomas is the second Black Supreme Court Justice to serve on the nation’s highest court. He is considered a reliable conservative vote and often votes against issues that Black people favor.
After Thomas was nominated for the Supreme Court, he had a contentious confirmation hearing after a colleague, Anita Hill, accused him of sexual harassment. Despite her allegations, Thomas was narrowly confirmed to the Supreme Court. President Joe Biden was the Senator that led those hearings at the time.
At a time when monuments across the country are being removed from the public by local officials or vandalized by protesters, some wonder if this is the best use of these Senators’ time or taxpayer dollars as they point to all of the other issues in Georgia that they can use their energies to champion such as Covid-19, crime, affordable housing, and unemployment, yet these issues are virtually ignored for a statue.