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U.S. Supreme Court

Thomas Talks of Constitution’s Limit on ‘We the People’

Posted Sep 17, 2012 10:28 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Justice Clarence Thomas acknowledged in an appearance last week that “we the people” in the U.S. Constitution did not includes blacks.

But as a child in Savannah, Ga., Thomas said, he was taught that the Declaration of Independence was intended to include all races, the Washington Post reports. “That’s the way we grew up. It was the way the nuns, who were all immigrants, would explain it to us—that we were entitled, as citizens of this country, to be full participants,” he said. “There was never any doubt that we were inherently equal. It said so in the Declaration of Independence.”

Thomas “spoke extensively about race,” the Post says, observing that he noted “with sarcasm” that “people say horrible things about it—they say I’m not black, so I’m just a little doubtful I should say I’m black.”

ABC News has excerpts from the speech at an event sponsored by the Constitutional Accountability Center and the Federalist Society.

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