Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has joined the chorus of criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden’s handling of his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation process, suggesting the aim of the contentious hearings was to prevent him from reaching the bench.
In a soon-to-be-released documentary, entitled Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, Thomas took aim at Senate Democrats and then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Biden, who headed his confirmation hearings, though he did not reference the now-2020 presidential candidate by name.
“I felt as though in my life I had been looking at the wrong people as the people who would be problematic toward me. We were told that, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be the bigot in the pickup truck; it’s gonna be the Klansmen; it’s gonna be the rural sheriff,'” Thomas, currently the longest-serving justice, said during the movie, ABC News reports.
“But it turned out that through all of that, ultimately the biggest impediment was the modern-day liberal,” he added. “They were the ones who would discount all those things because they have one issue or because they have the power to caricature you.”
Clarence’s comments come after Anita Hill, the law professor who testified before the Senate about her allegations of sexual misconduct by Thomas, criticized Biden for failing to apologize to her for his conduct during the hearings.
“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose,” Hill told the New York Times last April.
The month prior, Biden said he regrets not offering Hill with what he described as “the hearing she deserved,” lamenting that she was forced to testify before “a bunch of white guys” who failed to understand her point of view.
Of the confirmation hearing, Thomas said the process was designed to quash his assertion to the highest court in the land.
“Do I have like stupid written on the back of my shirt? I mean come on. We know what this is all about,” said Thomas. “People should just tell the truth: ‘This is the wrong black guy; he has to be destroyed.’ Just say it. Then now we’re at least honest with each other.”
The justice then said that “the idea was to get rid of me.”
“And then after I was there, it was to undermine me,” he added.
When asked for his thoughts on Biden pressing him for his thoughts on natural law, Thomas bluntly replied: “I have no idea what he was talking about.”
“I understood what he was trying to do. I didn’t really appreciate it,” he added. “Natural law was nothing more than a way of tricking me into talking about abortion.”
In a statement to ABC News, Biden’s deputy communications director attempted to downplay the criticism, saying it’s “no surprise that Justice Thomas does not have a positive view of him.”
“Then-Senator Biden voted against Clarence Thomas in the Senate Judiciary Committee, he argued against him on the Senate floor, and he voted against his confirmation to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court,” said Bill Russo.
Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a vote of 52-48.
Thomas reportedly participated in 22 hours of interviews over six-months in 2018.
The forthcoming film was made by director Michael Pack and Manifold Productions, and is scheduled for theatrical release in early 2020. It is also slated to air on PBS in the spring.