Speaking on C-Span, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas slammed New Jersey Senator Cory Booker for his theatrical flourish declaring himself Spartacus during the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Thomas asserted, “Honorable – if we could use that word about more people who are in public life, people who actually ask the questions at confirmation hearings, instead of 'Spartacus.”
Booker had boasted that he was defying Senate rules by releasing what he claimed were confidential documents concerning Kavanaugh’s past, preening, “This is about the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment.” Later revelations showed Booker had been given access to the documents before he made his “Spartacus” speech. William Burck, a lawyer working for former President George W. Bush told The New York Times, “We cleared the documents last night shortly after Senator Booker’s staff asked us to. We were surprised to learn about Sen. Booker’s histrionics this morning because we had already told him he could use the documents publicly. In fact, we have said yes to every request made by the Senate Democrats to make documents public.”
Thomas was speaking to the Federalist Society when he criticized Booker. He added, “If we could use the word honorable more often, think about the difference it'll make. Then, you'll have a legacy. We will have left the country in better shape, morally, structurally than we found it. But as long as we're looking at our interests, or scoring points, or looking cute, or being on TV, or the greenhouse effect, or what editorials we're getting, especially the legal system, how do we maintain it? If you can't debate hard issues honestly, with honor, with integrity, how do we keep a civil society?”
Thomas, the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court, knows how it feels to be attacked the way leftists have attacked Kavanaugh; after he was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush, Anita Hill, a law professor who had worked under Thomas at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accused Thomas of sexual harassment.
Thomas later said:
This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.
Ken Foskett, an investigative reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, wrote in “Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas,” “Bullying a woman simply wasn't in Thomas's nature and ran contrary to how he conducted himself around others in a professional environment.”