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45 U. Kan. L. Rev. 1 (1996-1997)

handle is hein.journals/ukalr45 and id is 13 raw text is: The University of
Kansas Law Review
The Honorable Justice Clarence Thomas*
Thank you for your warm welcome. I would like to thank the
University of Kansas School of Law, Dean Hoeflich, and Professor Steve
McAllister for arranging my visit here tonight. I would like to especially
thank Steve for his persistence and patience over the past two years as he
worked to make this visit possible. In addition, I would like to thank him
publicly for volunteering to clerk for me during my first months on the
Court, even though he had already clerked two years for Justice Byron
White and was enjoying the amenities of the private practice of law.
I have now completed almost five terms on the Court. For the life of
me, I cannot understand how the time has passed so quickly. But even
as the time has gone by with a degree of swiftness that is quite
discomforting, my tenure at the Court has been most rewarding.
Although the work is obviously difficult, the atmosphere in which we do
it is simply delightful. It is a joy to work both individually and
collectively with my colleagues. Unlike the deterioration of civility that
seems all too prevalent in our society, the Court enjoys a level of civility
commensurate with the seriousness of our work.
In recent months, there has been much discussion about our judicial
system, and, as can only be expected, there is often a fair amount of
controversy. Although, as a judge, I cannot help but think about other
aspects of our judicial systems, I must admit that my focus frequently
turns to the role of judges in the judicial process. Indeed, before I sit
down to think about any case, I follow the advice of one of my former
* Justice Clarence Thomas was appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1991 by
President George Bush. Prior to that appointment, Justice Thomas served on the United States Court
of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
This speech was delivered at the University of Kansas School of Law on April 8, 1996 as part of
the Stephenson Lectures in Law & Government series.

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