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Clarence Thomas Hires Law Clerk Accused of Sending Racist Text Messages

U.S.Clarence Thomas Hires Law Clerk Accused of Sending Racist Text Messages

Justice Clarence Thomas recently hired a law clerk who was previously accused of sending racist text messages, resurfacing the controversy around her.

Crystal Clanton will begin clerking for the justice in the upcoming term, according to the Antonin Scalia Law School, from which she graduated in 2022.

In late 2017, a New Yorker story reported that Ms. Clanton, who had served for five years as the national field director at Turning Point USA, a conservative student group, had sent the text messages, including the statement “i hate black people,” to another employee. The New York Times has not seen the messages.

Ms. Clanton, who had resigned from the group by the time the article came out, told The New Yorker at the time that she had no recollection of the messages and that “they do not reflect what I believe or who I am and the same was true when I was a teenager.” (Ms. Clanton would have been 20 years old when the messages were sent.) She did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

In the years since, Ms. Clanton has maintained a close relationship with Justice Thomas and his wife, Virginia Thomas. Ms. Thomas once served on the advisory board of Turning Point USA, and subsequently hired Ms. Clanton. The justice has called the allegations against Ms. Clanton unfounded and said that he does not believe her to be racist.

Justice Thomas did not respond to a request for comment.

The Thomases have welcomed Ms. Clanton into their inner circle. Photos from the Thomases’ 2022 holiday newsletter show that she joined the couple for Thanksgiving dinner. The Thomases also celebrated her graduation from Scalia Law.


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