Georgia Republicans push to have Clarence Thomas statue at Capitol

The statehouse grounds features statues and portraits of native Georgians who have achieved great accomplishments. Some want to include Thomas.

Georgia Republicans are pushing to have a statue of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas installed outside of the state’s capitol building. 

Thomas was born in Pin Point, Georgia, which is 11 miles southeast of Savannah. 

Georgia State Sen. Jason Anavitarte says it’s “only fitting and proper” to honor the justice with a statue, and, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, his fellow Republicans are joining the campaign. 

State Sen. Brian Strickland said Thomas deserves to be memorialized so Georgians “for years to come can recognize this man and what he accomplished.” 

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas sits during a photo shoot of the justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. in April. (Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

The statehouse grounds features statues and portraits of many native Georgians who have achieved great accomplishments, including former President Jimmy Carter and late, great leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Thomas, a conservative, is currently the court’s longest-serving justice. He is the second Black associate justice on the high court; the first was Thurgood Marshall, born in Baltimore. 

The justice rarely speaks in court and describes himself as an originalist who interprets the Constitution as the Founders intended it. 

Nominated to the high court by former President George H.W. Bush, Thomas was confirmed in 1991 by a slim vote despite the legendary contentious hearings, where a former colleague, Anita Hill, testified how Thomas had sexually harassed her. 

The hearings were led by then-Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, who was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Clarence Thomas
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the memorial service for former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at the Mayflower Hotel March 1, 2016 in Washington, DC.Justice Scalia died February 13 while on a hunting trip in Texas. (Photo by Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)

As previously reported, Biden offered Hill an apology for how she was treated during the hearings as he prepared to run for president in 2019. 

Hill recently told PEOPLE, “But I suppose I felt some relief that we could put that part behind us and then get to what was really important, which is: What are you going to do about it?”

Thomas spoke at the University of Notre Dame last week, where he said the role of the judiciary was not to weigh in on controversial issues. 

“When we begin to venture into the legislative or executive branch lanes, those of us, particularly in the federal judiciary with lifetime appointments, are asking for trouble,” he said, per CNN.

“I think that is problematic, and hence the craziness during my confirmation was one of the results of that,” he added, noting that “it was absolutely about abortion — a matter I had not thought deeply about at the time.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download today!