Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Left Nice Hours Before Attack

AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sidney Davis
AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sidney Davis

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas narrowly avoided the terrorist attack that left at least 84 people dead in Nice, France Thursday evening.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that Thomas left Nice hours before a terrorist plowed through a crowded Nice street filled with Bastille Day revelers. The associate justice had been in the city teaching a program through the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.

School spokesman Edgar Hopida tells the Tribune that Thomas left Nice Thursday morning and, while there have not been reports of student or faculty casualties, not all the students have been accounted for. However, he noted to the Tribune, the students were just starting their weekend.

The school announced Thomas’ participation in the study abroad program in March, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia, prior to his death, was scheduled to teach for the program for a fifth time this year.

“This is the first time that Justice Thomas will teach in the Nice Study Abroad Program, and we’re honored to have him participate,” Thomas Guernsey, president and dean of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, said in a statement in March. “Justice Scalia would be proud to have Justice Thomas teach Constitutional Law in his place, a subject about which the late Justice Scalia was passionate.”

Scalia died in February.

The four-week program, according to the school’s March announcement, is being held in partnership with the University of Nice School of Law and focuses on international and comparative law. It is slated to run through July 21.