Clarence Thomas Is One Seriously Troubled Dude

| Mon Apr. 13, 2009 3:01 PM EDT

This New York Times article on a rare public appearance by Justice Clarence Thomas -- a talk with high school essay contest winners -- is enough to make you feel sorry for the poor schmuck, if he wasn't on the most powerful court in the land and thus able to place the imprint of his neuroses and obvious self-loathing on the legacy of American jurisprudence.

The article makes clear, simply by quoting the famously taciturn Thomas, that he believes he is dumber than all the other justices and a good number of law professors, and retreats into isolation ("I tend to be morose sometimes") to nurse his wounds and brood. What an awful purgatory of an existence: to know you are a fraud, to know that everyone else knows you are a fraud, and yet to be locked into your job more or less for life. It's enough to ruin a person. And it appears it has.

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