Southland ACLU Votes to Oppose Thomas’ Nomination to High Court


The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California on Wednesday night voted to break with the national organization and oppose the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In voting to oppose Thomas, the directors of ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California became the first ACLU affiliate in the nation to break with the national ACLU’s decision to remain neutral on Thomas’ nomination.

Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, said the decision to oppose Thomas came after a two-hour discussion, centering on Thomas’ positions on such issues as affirmative action and school prayer.


“We also think about his lack of candor and honesty,” Ripston said.

Ripston cited what she said was Thomas’ apparent failure to list one of his most controversial writings on civil rights among material submitted to the Senate for confirmation hearings on his appointment to the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia.

Ripston said 59% of the national ACLU board had voted to oppose Thomas earlier this month, but an organizational by-law requires a 60% vote for the group to promulgate a national policy on a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.