Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks Out

Jan Crawford Greenburg's in-depth interview with Justice Clarence Thomas.

Sept. 30, 2007 — -- After 16 years of relative silence on the subject, Justice Clarence Thomas is publishing an autobiography that addresses what he has called a "high-tech" lynching -- the confirmation process that followed his nomination to the Supreme Court by President George Herbert Walker Bush.

ABC Supreme Court correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg conducted a series of wide-ranging interviews with Justice Thomas and his wife, Virginia.

Greenburg's Interviews with the 'Silent' Justice

Click on the links below for Greenburg's in-depth report on her interviews with the justice.

Part I: My Grandfather's Son

"These people who claim to be progressive … have been far more vicious to me than any southerner," Thomas says, "and it is purely ideological."

Part II: The Integrator

He is part of another great generation -- a generation of blacks who integrated a racist society, whose entry into those hostile white worlds was, in many ways, no less courageous than the bravery of the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy.

Part III: Going North

"I didn't have this view that I was going to go North. Ideologically, I wanted to be like the Northern kids who were no longer submissive. They were fighting back on the racial issues," Thomas says. "But I didn't want to go North. That was not a part of it. But it was the only option I had after I got kicked out of the house."

Part IV: A Conservative in Washington -- and the Personal Struggles

"I drank more heavily than ever before, and though I was careful not to let my drinking interfere with my work, I knew I was on the road to trouble," Thomas writes.

Part V: Finding Peace

"I sometimes wonder how I got through the summer of 1983 without falling apart," he wrote. "I was lower than a snake's belly ... and the mad thought of taking my own life fleetingly crossed my mind."

Part VI: Becoming a Judge

"That's a job for old people," Thomas wrote that he replied. "I can't see myself spending the rest of my life as a judge."

Part VII: 'Traitorous' Adversaries: Anita Hill and the Senate Democrats

Thomas wrote that he paced around the house "like a caged animal," not knowing what to expect but fearing the worst.

Part VIII: Rebuilding a Life

"Thanks to God's direct intervention, I had risen phoenix-like from the ashes of self-pity and despair, and though my wounds were still raw, I trusted that in time they, too, would heal," he wrote.

Video Highlights

Click on the links below to watch highlights from Greenburg's series of interviews with Thomas.

TOPIC: Justice Clarence Thomas shares his inner thoughts on the 1991 confirmation hearings, calling the experience "the most inhuman thing that has ever happened to me."

TOPIC: Justice Clarence Thomas talks about his methodology on the Supreme Court and why he asks so few questions during oral arguments.

TOPIC: Justice Clarence Thomas' wife, Virginia Thomas, describes her reaction to Anita Hill's charges against her husband and says she's still holding out hope for an apology.

TOPIC: Justice Clarence Thomas describes his upbringing by his maternal grandfather, who was the inspiration behind the title of his book "My Grandfather's Son."