The Greatest Speech Justice Clarence Thomas Almost Didn't Give

Seven years into his term as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas accepted an invitation from the National Bar Association, the nation's largest association of Black attorneys, to address the group's annual conference. But a month before he was scheduled to speak, he was disinvited. According to the New York Times, the offer was tendered by Justice Bernette J. Johnson of the Louisiana Supreme Court, who was then head of the association's judicial council. The Times wrote that when the 25-member Board learned of the invitation it "provoked a strong reaction," leading members of the board to disinvite Thomas.

Justice Thomas wasn't having it. He went anyway.

From the Times:

Senior members of the National Bar Association...have said Justice Thomas has told them he expects to give his speech that day and does not accept the legitimacy of the letter disinviting him.

The members, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Justice Thomas had told them he was undeterred by a letter he received this month withdrawing the invitation because the people who wrote it were not those who first invited him.

In honor of Black History Month, we share highlights from the speech Justice Thomas' almost didn't give in Memphis on July 29, 1998. In it, he spoke of overcoming abject poverty in the segregated South and his struggle to control the "rage, anger, and resentment" that ate away at him in the years following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He explained the journey that led him to champion individual identity over the politics of group identity.

The summer of 1971 was perhaps one of the most difficult of my life. It was clear to me that the road to destruction was paved with anger, resentment and rage. But where were we to go? I would often spend hours in our small efficiency apartment in New Haven pondering this question and listening to Marvin Gaye’s then new album, “What’s Going On?”

To say the least, it was a depressing summer. What were we to do? What’s going on?

As I think back on those years, I find it interesting that many people seemed to have trouble with their identities as black men. Having had to accept my blackness in the caldron of ridicule from some of my black schoolmates under segregation, then immediately thereafter remain secure in that identity during my years at all-white seminary, I had few racial identity problems. I knew who I was and needed no gimmicks to affirm my identity. Nor, might I add, do I need anyone telling me who I am today. This is especially true of the psycho-silliness about forgetting my roots or self-hatred.


Any effort, policy or program that has as a prerequisite the acceptance of the notion that blacks are inferior is a non-starter with me. I do not believe that kneeling is a position of strength. Nor do I believe that begging is an effective tactic. I am confident that the individual approach, not the group approach, is the better, more acceptable, more supportable and less dangerous one. This approach is also consistent with the underlying principles of this country and the guarantees of freedom through government by consent. I, like Frederick Douglass, believe that whites and blacks can live together and be blended into a common nationality.


It pains me deeply, or more deeply than any of you can imagine, to be perceived by so many members of my race as doing them harm. All the sacrifice, all the long hours of preparation were to help, not to hurt. But what hurts more, much more, is the amount of time and attention spent on manufactured controversies and media sideshows when so many problems cry out for constructive attention.

I have come here today not in anger or to anger, though my mere presence has been sufficient, obviously, to anger some. Nor have I come to defend my views, but rather to assert my right to think for myself, to refuse to have my ideas assigned to me as though I was an intellectual slave because I’m black. I come to state that I’m a man, free to think for myself and do as I please. I’ve come to assert that I am a judge and I will not be consigned the unquestioned opinions of others.

But even more than that, I have come to say that isn’t it time to move on? Isn’t it time to realize that being angry with me solves no problems?

Isn’t it time to acknowledge that the problem of race has defied simple solutions and that not one of us, not a single one of us can lay claim to the solution?

Isn’t it time that we respect ourselves and each other as we have demanded respect from others?

Isn’t it time to ignore those whose sole occupation is sowing seeds of discord and animus? That is self-hatred.

Isn’t it time to continue diligently to search for lasting solutions?

I believe that the time has come today.


Justice Thomas' unwavering commitment to individual liberty and freedom, his determination to interpret the Constitution using an Originalist approach, and his triumph over what he called "particularly bilious and venomous assaults," make him a national treasure. 

Ranked-Choice Voting: Friend or Foe to Minorities

Proponents of ranked-choice voting (RCV) are engaged in a massive misinformation campaign to gain support for a voting scheme that has sown confusion and chaos everywhere it's been tried. The Soros-backed group FairVote recently produced a study claiming RCV helps minority voters, but nonpartisan fact checkers have exposed the study as fake news.

The Center for Election Confidence (CEC) recently fact checked FairVote's study and found it was based off low-quality research methods that wouldn't pass muster in a high school science fair.

This week Center Square featured a guest column by CEC Executive Director Lisa Dixon which debunks the claims that RVC benefits minority voters. Dixon countered those false claims with a study produced by Princeton University Professor Nolan McCarty which finds RCV actually hurts minority voters.

From Dixon's Center Square guest column:

As far-left progressives seek to fundamentally change America, including how we vote, their controversial and confusing voting scheme known as ranked-choice voting raises concerns about its impact on minority voters. Two recently-released studies trying to answer that question have come to wildly different conclusions. Which one is right?

First, a little background.

Under ranked-choice voting, voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. While some voters find the concept appealing, the intricate process of eliminating candidates and reallocating votes can be confusing. This complexity, compounded by the sheer number of candidates in some races, poses a risk to the fundamental principles of fair and transparent elections.

Almost everywhere it's been tried, Black Americans have alleged that their ballots are discarded at a higher rate than those of non-minority voters. After losing his mayoral bid in a ranked-choice voting election in Oakland, Calif., Seneca Scott, a Black candidate, said, "When we're looking at the data, it looked like a lot of people, who clearly intended to vote a certain way, had their ballots tossed for overvotes because they made a mistake. And these mistakes trend in disenfranchised, marginalized communities."

The head of the New York State chapter of the NAACP went so far as to call ranked-choice voting "voter suppression."

While the anecdotal evidence was troubling, it wasn't enough to hold up to legal scrutiny in the courts or make a definitive case in the court of public opinion. Hard evidence came last month when the Center for Election Confidence released a nonpartisan study by Princeton professor Nolan McCarty, "Minority Electorates and Ranked Choice Voting."

Applying rigorous data analysis to recent ranked-choice voting elections, Prof. McCarty shows minority ballots are, in fact, discarded at a higher rate than those of non-minorities under ranked-choice voting.

"Across a variety of electoral contexts in New York City and Alaska, I find consistent correlations between the ethnic and racial composition of a precinct and the share of exhausted ballots," McCarty concluded. "These correlations are especially large when there are large numbers of candidates and when there are not strong co-ethnic candidates in the race."

Dixon goes on to debunk FairVote's claims and sums up her column with:

FairVote's methodology lacks the depth and breadth required for a comprehensive evaluation — it wouldn't stand up to the scientific inquiry standards of a high school science fair project.

The need for scientifically rigorous scholarship, as in Dr. McCarty's report released by CEC, remains crucial for navigating the complexities of ranked-choice voting's effects on minority candidates and voters and understanding how ranked-choice voting weakens minority influence.

No state or local government should adopt ranked-choice voting. It is a flawed voting scheme at best, and a cynical attempt to manipulate outcomes at worst.

Read Dixon's full column here.

Fani Willis' Own Words Condemn Her

Events took an unexpected and dramatic turn in an Atlanta court on Thursday in the Georgia case against Donald Trump. Neither Fani Willis, Fulton County District Attorney, nor Nathan Wade, a former special prosecutor for the DA's office, had planned on testifying. But, following a witness testimony that the two had begun a romantic relationship far earlier than had previously been acknowledged, both took to the witness stand. 

Read more

Biden's Iran Problem Keeps Getting Worse

Biden's "Iran problem" keeps getting worse. In an interview with Fox News, former Trump National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien explained how the Biden Administration's policy of appeasement towards Iran has placed the safety of the world in a precarious situation:

Robert O'Brien, the former Trump U.S. national security adviser, characterized Biden's global strategy as one of appeasement, which he said has lead to major conflicts in the past.

Read more

Biden Border Crisis Continues to Deepen

In recent weeks, the Biden Border Crisis has reached levels previously thought to be unimaginable: 

  • On a single day in December 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection experienced over 12,600 migrant encounters. 
Read more

Rogue Officials are Weaponizing the 14th Amendment

The decision by the fully Democrat-appointed Colorado Supreme Court in December to remove former President Trump from the Republican primary ballot was just the beginning of rogue officials weaponizing the 14th Amendment and interfering with Republican voters' ability to choose a presidential nominee. Last week, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows joined the Colorado Supreme Court in determininging former President Trump ineligible to be listed on the Republican primary ballot under the guise of the 14th Amendment's ban on "insurrectionists" holding office.

Read more

Top Blogs of 2023: Part 2 - Elections

RNLA's blog featured a wide variety of topics in 2023, and we wanted to highlight some of the top posts here. Part One focused on RNLA's top blogs on attacks on the rule of law from the radical left. Part Two focuses on efforts by Republicans to fight back against the politicization and federalization of our elections. We hope you enjoy this recap of some of RNLA's top blog posts of 2023!


Read more

Top Blogs of 2023: Part 1 - Attacks on the Rule of Law

RNLA's blog covered a wide variety of topics in 2023 including attacks on the rule of law from the radical left. RNLA covered everything from radical Biden judicial nominees, attacks on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, and more. We hope you enjoy this recap of some of RNLA's top blog posts of 2023!


Read more

Partisan CO Supreme Court Hands Down Unbelievable Ruling to Remove Trump from Ballot

On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court handed down an unbelievable ruling removing former President Trump from the Republican primary ballot and consequently denying the state's Republicans the opportunity to decide who they want to represent them in the 2024 presidential election.

Read more

Tone-Deaf Biden Admin Puts forth Nominee Linked to Anti-Israel Think Tank

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing for Adeel Abdullah Mangi, nominated to serve on the Third Circuit. The nomination of Manji might be one of the Biden Administration's most tone-deaf yet. As The Washington Free Beacon reported, Mangi previously served on the advisory board of a think tank at Rutger's University known for its anti-Israel activity:

Read more