Liberal columnist accuses Clarence Thomas of smearing his sister

May 7, 2023

While Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has long been a reviled figure among leftists, their attacks aren't just directed towards his judicial opinions.

The latest attempt to disparage Thomas came last week when The New Republic contributor Tori Otten accused him of slandering his sister.

Author seizes on Thomas' relationship with Republican donor

Otten made the allegation in a piece published this past Friday called, "How Clarence Thomas Smeared His Own Sister to Gain Right-Wing Cool Points."

The writer began by highlighting accusations from the left-leaning news outlet ProPublica that Thomas went on expensive vacations with wealthy Republican mega donor Harlan Crow.

She then accused Thomas of mischaracterizing his sister's behavior while speaking to a group of black conservatives at an event over four decades ago.

The future justice allegedly said that his sister, Emma Mae Martin, was "dependent" on government assistance and felt "entitled" to taxpayer dollars.

Author accuses justice of promoting "a negative stereotype" about black people

Otten complained that this "reinforced a negative stereotype popular among conservatives that Black people are lazy and count on welfare instead of their own work, an attempt to set himself apart and advance his career."

She then pointed to a newspaper article published eleven years later that painted a more sympathetic portrait of Thomas' sibling.

"It is a story of male abandonment, female sacrifice and a turning to welfare only temporarily and only as a last resort," Otten wrote.

"It also is a story of an inadequate government safety net for those who struggle at the bottom of society—no day care, no health insurance, no subsidy for the 'working poor' whose wages are not enough to lift their families above the federal poverty line," she added.

Even liberal justices side with Thomas over ethics complaint

Interestingly, there are at least a few members of the political left who aren't on board with destroying Thomas at all costs, and they include his fellow justices.

Conservative Review reported late last month that the Supreme Court saw a rare show of unanimity when all nine of its members signed a letter in which they dismissed an ethics complained filed by Senate Democrats over his relationship with Crow.

What's more, Chief Justice John Roberts declined a request by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin that he testify on Capitol Hill.


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