The more I think about it, it’s sad to think that someone who has done so little for civil rights (Clarence Thomas) replaced someone so great (Thurgood Marshall) who did so much for civil rights. It’s almost unforgivable that George H.W. Bush, in 1991, nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court to replace one of the important figures in black history, Thurgood Marshall.
Here is a lengthy excerpt from Wikipedia:
Marshall won his very first U.S. Supreme Court case, Chambers v. Florida, 309 U.S. 227 (1940), at the age of 32. That same year, he was appointed Chief Counsel for the NAACP. He argued many other cases before the Supreme Court, most of them successfully, including Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944); Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948); Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 (1950); and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637 (1950). His most famous case as a lawyer was Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), the case in which the Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” public education was unconstitutional because it could never be truly equal. In total, Marshall won 29 out of the 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.
During the 1950s, Thurgood Marshall developed a friendly relationship with J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1956, for example, he privately praised Hoover’s campaign to discredit T.R.M. Howard, a maverick civil rights leader from Mississippi. During a national speaking tour, Howard had criticized the FBI’s failure to seriously investigate cases such as the 1955 killers of George W. Lee and Emmett Till. An FBI informant reported that Marshall had “no use for Howard and nothing would please him more than to see Howard completely crushed.” Ironically, two years earlier Howard had arranged for Marshall to deliver a well-received speech at a rally of his Regional Council of Negro Leadership in Mound Bayou, Mississippi only days before the Brown decision. 
President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1961. A group of Democratic Party Senators led by Mississippi’s James Eastland held up his confirmation, so he served for the first several months under a recess appointment. Marshall remained on that court until 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him Solicitor General.
On June 13, 1967, President Johnson appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court following the retirement of Justice Tom C. Clark, saying that this was “the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place.” Marshall was confirmed as an Associate Justice by a Senate vote of 69-11 on August 31, 1967. He was the 96th person to hold the position, and the first African-American.
Meanwhile, Thomas fought against civil rights and continues to fight against civil rights.
From The Daily Voice:
In an 8-1 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Justice Clarence Thomas cast the lone vote against a key provision of the Voting Rights Act on Monday (June 22).
The Court, in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder (PDF link) declined to overturn the 1965 Voting Rights Act that has often been challenged by conservative critics as unnecessary. Instead it avoided the “difficult” question about the constitutionality of the law. But the Court did allow a tiny Texas municipality to be exempted from a requirement to provide advance notice before making changes to its election procedures.
In his dissent, Thomas seemed to argue that the Voting Rights Act is no longer necessary because the explicit racial segregation of the Jim Crow era is gone.
”The violence, intimidation and subterfuge that led Congress to pass Section 5 and this court to uphold it no longer remains,” Thomas wrote. He admitted that in 1965, “Congress had every reason to conclude that States with a history of disenfranchising voters based on race would continue to do all they could to evade the constitutional ban on voting discrimination.” But, Thomas added, “The extensive pattern of discrimination that led the Court to previously uphold Section 5 . . . no longer exists…And the days of ‘grandfather clauses, property qualifications, ‘good character’ tests, and the requirement that registrants ‘understand’ or ‘interpret’ certain matter,’ are gone.”
Some things change, but other things remain the same.
It hurts to think this man replaced the great Thurgood Marshall.