Justice Thomas, Yale mending fences:Thomas said his Yale degree meant nothing due to affirmative action


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, shown in a 2010 file photo, has agreed to address a Yale Law School alumni dinner in Washington this month. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg 

Published: June 2, 2012 at 10:49 AM

WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has agreed to address a Yale Law School alumni dinner in Washington this month.

The speech is part of a process of mending fences between the justice and the school where he obtained his law degree in 1974, The Washington Post reported. Thomas visited Yale in December, addressing the conservative Federalist Society and the Black Law Students Association and jointly teaching a class with a law professor — a liberal one.

Thomas is one of three Yale Law alumni on the high court along with the conservative Samuel AlitoJr., who graduated in 1975, and the liberal Sonia Sotomayor, a member of the class of 1979.

In his autobiography, “My Grandfather’s Son,” Thomas said he felt his Yale degree had no value when he graduated because of affirmative action. In fact, he said, he stuck a 15-cent sticker from a box of cigars on the degree and stored it in the basement.

“I’d learned the hard way that a law degree from Yale meant one thing for white graduates and another for blacks, no matter how much anyone denied it,” he wrote.

His confirmation battle did nothing to change his mind, when Anita Hill, a member of the class of 1980 at Yale, accused him of sexual harassment.



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