Professor Garrett Epps, the Supreme Court correspondent for The Atlantic, focused his June 18 column on Justice Clarence Thomas, who last week joined the court’s four moderate-liberals to back Texas’s refusal to print a Confederate flag on the state’s license plates (Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.).
Writes Epps in “Clarence Thomas Takes On a Symbol of White Supremacy”: “Why would Thomas cross over in the Sons of Confederate Veterans case? To state the obvious, Thomas is the Court’s only African American. Much has been made of his rejection of contemporary civil-rights orthodoxy. But it is equally clear that Thomas retains vivid and bitter memories of his poverty-stricken childhood in the Jim Crow South—and that he retains a particular hatred for the symbols of Southern white supremacy.”