When I was a kid, grown folks were quick to say, “the Lord works in mysterious ways.” I wonder how many knew the phrase was taken from a William Cowper poem, “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.”
When a recent epiphany stopped me in my tracks, these words came to mind. Is it me, or does SCOTUS nominee Judge Ketanji Jackson Brown bear an uncanny resemblance to Anita Hill? I haven’t heard anyone mention it in broadcast news or online streaming. I watched the daily confirmation hearings, and I don’t recall anyone commenting on the comparison with all the drama, antics, and histrionics.
I recently described Judge Jackson as having the full facial features of a broad nose, high cheekbones, full lips, and dark chocolate brown complexion, a description that perfectly fits Anita Hill. The irony of an Anita Hill look-a-like sitting on the Court only chairs away from Associate Justice Clarence Thomas is seismic; the chance of such an occurrence is nothing less than astronomical.
I can only imagine the thoughts going through the minds of Associate Justice Thomas or Professor Anita Hill at this time. Who can forget the contentious confirmation hearings of Thomas, the Coca Cola can, the pubic hair, and Thomas’ claim that he was nothing less than the victim of a modern-day lynching? Who can forget the heated exchanges between opposing Senators and Ms. Hill, who, in 1991, accused her boss of sexual harassment, and Justice Thomas, who denied all such accusations?
I leave it to coincidence that both Thomas and Jackson are married interracially. It only adds a level of interest and intrigue, if not complexity, to the story. Consider these historical times when the Vice-President of the United States and two sitting justices on the Supreme Court, the highest Court of the land, are interracially married. The more compelling question is, what impact should the spouse of a VP or any sitting Justice have on their service? In theory, little to none.
As of today, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, is under fire for damning emails bearing her name and her appeals to Mark Meadows, former senior advisor to Donald Trump, to take measures to overturn the 2020 election. To make matters worse, Justice Thomas was the sole dissenting vote of nine on the Court who voted against halting or blocking or preventing the investigation of the January 6 attack on the capitol. In a story ripe with ironies, the ruling in the case of Virginia v Loving struck down anti-miscegenation laws preventing interracial marriage.
The nagging question is why Thomas failed to recuse himself from taking an official position on any matters about the January 6 attack. He should never have voted, knowing his wife’s position on the topic and her active participation in the movement to restore the former president to office. Thomas now finds himself under the scrutiny of those calling for everything from sanctions to impeachment. One possible outcome of this untidy mess is the removal of a sitting Supreme Court Justice, taken down not by someone out to get him, not as a result of a modern-day lynching, but by the hubris, miscalculation, and poor judgment of his wife Ginny.
While all of this rises no higher than the level of mere speculation, consider the irony. Clarence Thomas may be forced to step down from a lifetime appointment on the Court while remaining would be the image of his accuser, Professor Anita Faye Hill, professor of law, social policy, and women’s studies at Brandeis University. The Lord works in mysterious ways…