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Opinion

On solving the puzzle of Clarence Thomas

JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS (AP Photo/Sidney Davis/File) by Daryl Gale Last week was an up and down week for the progressives and minorities who have been closely watching the movements of the Supreme Court. There was jubilation upon news of the ruling that gay marriage is probably about to become settled law, with the Defense of Marriage Act torn to shreds; and hair-pulling frustration at the word that key portions of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark legislation that represents the greatest victory of the civil rights era, were scuttled because — and this may be news to some of you — America has apparently gotten over its criminally racist tendencies and every individual’s right to vote is already protected. We’ll get back to that bogus assertion in a minute, but for now, I’d like to talk about the one member of the Supreme Court whose opinions and behavior continued to baffle me until this week — our old friend Clarence Thomas.