The People’s Justice: Clarence Thomas and the Constitutional Stories that Define Him

Date of Event



Event Description

For thirty years, Clarence Thomas has been denounced as the “cruelest justice,” a betrayer of his race, an ideologue, and the enemy of the little guy. In this compelling study of the man and the jurist, Amul Thapar demolishes that caricature.

Every day, Americans go to court. Invoking the Constitution, they fight for their homes, for a better education for their children, and to save their cities from violence. Recounting the stories of a handful of these ordinary Americans whose struggles for justice reached the Supreme Court, Thapar shines new light on the heart and mind of Clarence Thomas.

A woman in debilitating pain whose only effective medication has been taken away by the government, the motherless children of a slain police officer, victims of sexual assault— read their eye-opening stories, stripped of legalese, and decide for yourself whether Thomas’s originalist jurisprudence delivers equal justice under law.

“Finding the right answer,” Justice Thomas has observed, “is often the least difficult problem.” What is needed is “the courage to assert that answer and stand firm in the face of the constant winds of protest and criticism.”

That courage—along with wisdom and compassion—shines out from every page of The People’s Justice. At the heart of this book is the question: Would you want to live in Justice Thomas’s America? After reading these stories, even his critics might be surprised by their answer.

Speaker Bio

Amul R. Thapar serves as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. His judicial career began in 2007 when President George W. Bush nominated him to serve on the Eastern District of Kentucky, making him the first South Asian Article III judge in American history. In 2017, he became President Donald J. Trump’s first appellate court nominee.

Before joining the bench, Thapar served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. While United States Attorney, Thapar worked on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (“AGAC”) and chaired the AGAC’s Controlled Substances and Asset Forfeiture subcommittee. He also served on the Terrorism and National Security subcommittee, the Violent Crime subcommittee, and the Child Exploitation working group. Thapar has worked in private practice, at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in both the Southern District of Ohio and the District of Columbia.

Thapar received his undergraduate degree from Boston College and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating, Thapar worked as a law clerk to the Honorable S. Arthur Spiegel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Thapar is the author of The People’s Justice: Clarence Thomas and the Constitutional Stories that Define Him. He has also published law review articles in the Yale Law Journal, Michigan Law Review and Catholic University Law Review. He teaches courses on originalism, the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, habeas corpus and legal writing at Notre Dame Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law and Vanderbilt Law School.

Event Location

Lecture Series

Sumner Canary Lecture

Subject Headings

Justice Clarence Thomas, constitutional law, U.S. Supreme Court


CWRU School of Law Moot Courtroom

Document Type