The Thomas-Clown Affair

All right; I know I said I wanted to write about the law of torts, but a tort is a civil wrong, and nothing could be more wrong than the behavior of the Thomas women.  First, Mrs. Thomas telephones Anita Hill at work on a Saturday morning, and leaves her a voicemail message about how Hill should apologize for her testimony given almost two decades ago.  The news wires and blogosphere came alive; everyone asked what was she thinking. 

Second, and even more bizarre than Mrs. Thomas’ lapse of judgment and civility, a former Thomas “girl friend,” Lillian McEwen provoked even greater outrage.  After having “dumped” Clarence Thomas more than 20 years ago, Ms. Ewen decided the time had come to go public with her great personal insights, gleaned from the bedroom behavior of Thomas. McEwen had no news of criminal activity, no news of abuse or mistreatment, no news of legal impropriety, and no personal observation of any event that could reconcile the contradictions in the Thomas-Hill testimony.  No, McEwen decided she could not go into senility without telling the world why she had dumped Thomas:  

  • he gave up heavy drinking,
  • he became “asexual,”
  • he decided to get into better shape by running,
  • he wanted to have a serious relationship that involved cohabiting,
  • he decided that he needed to advance his career, and
  • he paid more attention to controlling and disciplining his son.

Wow!  To be sure, McEwen also told us that Thomas enjoyed pornography and women with ample mammaries, but that was while she was still enjoying Thomas.  The post-epiphany Thomas was much less fun, no doubt, for Ms. McEwen, who preferred the Thomas who “drank to excess,” who lacked ambition, who was unstable, who had trouble concentrating, and who lacked “intellectual curiosity.”  Tom Cohen, “Former girlfriend says Clarence Thomas was a binge drinker, porn user.”<>

Perhaps Ms. McEwen’s loss is the Supreme Court’s gain.

This is the stuff of news wires and Larry King interviews.  Mr. King interviewed Ms. McEwen, and even he appeared to have been flummoxed by McEwen’s public revelation that a sober, hard-working, physically fit Thomas was unacceptable in the McEwen bedroom.  Talk about too much information!  Still, Mr. King failed at the cross-examination by avoiding any meaningful inquiry into the nature and basis for McEwen’s long-term relationship with Clarence Thomas, before his having cleaned up his act. Afterall, McMcEwen had “opened the door,” as trial lawyers say, and she put her own peccadilloes, fetishes, and preferences into issue.  If she was willing to speak about Thomas, then surely fairness requires that she talk openly about herself as well.  Afterall, asexuality is in the eye of the beholder.  So many questions went unasked.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Mr. Justice Thomas declined comment, very appropriately.  I wish I had witnesses in my trials, who, like Lillian McEwen, impeached themselves so effectively and completely.  It is difficult to imagine that Ms. McEwen had been a prosecutor and administrative law judge, although it is only fair to consider that Ms. McEwen is accustomed to putting her “defendant” in the worst possible bad light.  The entire country now understands why then Senator Biden controlled his own urges and did not call Ms. McEwen as a witness at the Thomas confirmation hearings.

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