The Supreme Court Justice voted for George McGovern in 1972 and supported the Black Panthers and Malcolm X.
Law professor André Douglas Pond Cummings wrote a fascinating article in the Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal on Thomas’ evolution into the conservative he is today.
While he supported the Panthers as a student at College of the Holy Cross, Thomas began cutting his ties with the left after starting Yale Law School, according to Cummings. Other Yale Law students questioned Thomas’ intellect because he had potentially benefitted from affirmative action, making him feel stigmatized.
That environment made Thomas turn to more “self-help” ideas of Booker T. Washington, Cummings writes.