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Kavanaugh Hoaxer Ruth Marcus Can’t Stop Harassing Clarence Thomas’ Clerk

Why does Ruth Marcus hold Justice Clarence Thomas’ law clerk to a far higher standard than her own daughter?


If Crystal Clanton has a bunny, she should do everything in her power to make sure Washington Post Associate Editor Ruth Marcus doesn’t boil it. Such is Marcus’ level of unhealthy obsession with the promising young law clerk. Beginning when Clanton was in law school, Marcus has made it her mission to destroy the young woman’s life. She has written piece after piece attempting to harm her career prospects. It’s gotten so unhinged that even liberal law professors are begging her to show some decency.

Clanton graduated Magna Cum Laude from George Mason University’s Scalia Law School. She currently clerks for the distinguished William Pryor, chief judge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Before that, she clerked for District Judge Corey Maze of the Northern District of Alabama.

“After Judge Maze recounted to me how well Crystal performed in her clerkship on the district court, I had high expectations for her on the Eleventh Circuit,” said Judge Pryor, who has previously been considered for the Supreme Court. “And she exceeded those expectations. Crystal is an outstanding law clerk.”

Clanton has just been announced as one of Justice Clarence Thomas’ clerks for the upcoming term on the Supreme Court.

Marcus has never forgiven Thomas for not sharing her left-wing views, and news of the clerkship enraged her. So she wrote yet another article in The Washington Post this week attacking the young woman. Marcus, who regularly traffics in left-wing conspiracy theories, helped run The Washington Post’s shameful operation to falsely smear Justice Brett Kavanaugh as the leader of a serial gang rape cartel.

Marcus’ feverish argument is that Clanton may — or in fact may not — have texted something racially insensitive when she was 19 or 20 and therefore she should not have been admitted to law school, she should not be admitted to the bar, and she should never be allowed to work as a federal court law clerk.

Since the time of the alleged text, the provenance of which is in serious dispute, Clanton ended up living with the Thomas family. Justice Thomas, who is black, personally encouraged her to attend law school and recommended her for clerkships.

“I know Crystal Clanton and I know bigotry,” Thomas wrote in a letter. “Bigotry is antithetical to her nature and character.”

Marcus, who is white, says she knows better than Thomas and that law school and a legal career for the young clerk should be forbidden.

“[F]ederal judges are called on to interpret and enforce the law impartially,” Marcus argues. How would certain litigants “have confidence of a fair ruling in their cases with a clerk with Clanton’s record waiting in chambers? How do litigants in employment discrimination or voting rights cases have confidence that they will be treated equally in his court?”

What’s interesting about Marcus’ claims is that her own daughter fails to meet the standards she has set for the woman she is dangerously obsessed with.

Marcus’ daughter Emma Leibowitz is apparently preparing to be a federal law clerk on the Fifth Circuit, according to Harvard Law School. Leibowitz is, like her parents, a Democrat activist. She is currently spending a year as a legal fellow at Democracy Forward, a far-left lawfare group chaired by Marc Elias.

Elias ran the dangerous and deceitful 2016 scam to allege Donald Trump was a secret agent of Russia. He also led the republic-destabilizing effort to change hundreds of election laws and processes in 2020, causing tens of millions of mail-in ballots to flood the system. Democracy Forward is known for filing lawsuits to prevent Republican administration of government.

Prior to her time at Harvard Law School, Leibowitz worked for the Obama Foundation. While at Harvard, she was a member of a radical legal group called People’s Parity, whose website alleges a right-wing conspiracy to control the courts and sells T-shirts that say “Unf*ck the law,” which is the group’s “unofficial slogan.” People’s Parity claims courts are “rigged.”

Leibowitz’s activism ran off the rails while at Harvard Law School. She led a shockingly bigoted petition effort to prevent Harvard from hiring Republican administration officials such as former Attorney General William Barr, and anyone who supported Republican administration officials, such as prominent Republican members of Congress. Leibowitz was quoted as saying she didn’t believe these Republicans should be allowed to exist in “polite society” since she disagreed with them politically.

Would any Republican with a case in the Fifth Circuit feel confident they would be treated equally before a judge whose clerk has Leibowitz’s record? Why does Ruth Marcus hold this other law clerk she’s utterly obsessed with to a far higher standard than her own daughter?

McCarthyism All Around

“This is modern McCarthyism,” Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz said of Leibowitz’s campaign at the time, in an interview with The Fix via email. “I strongly oppose litmus tests and loyalty oaths by universities and law schools. I will strongly oppose this petition and hope that the faculty and students join in this principled opposition.”

Leibowitz’s mother, Ruth Marcus, is also accused of McCarthyism for her obsessive attacks on Clanton (She just penned her fourth jeremiad against the woman this week). In Slate, liberal law Professor Steven Lubet told the story of Sen. Joe McCarthy going after a young lawyer working for Joseph Welch, alleging he was a communist due to his affiliation with the National Lawyers Guild.

Welch famously replied, “Let us not assassinate this lad, further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Lubet similarly excoriates Marcus:

In a classic demonstration of punching down, the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus wrote a series of columns about Clanton — beginning when she was still in law school — that read like a campaign to make her an unemployable pariah. Thomas’ decision to hire Clanton, she said, is a “stain” on the entire federal judiciary.

Marcus got her metaphor backward. Thomas probably wasn’t intentionally channeling Joseph Welch, but he had gotten it right when he responded to the judicial ethics complaint. “We have reached a sorry state of affairs,” he said, “when a young adult can be indelibly marked with today’s ‘scarlet letter’ of defamation.”

Other law professors are similarly bothered by this campaign. Marcus has a reputation for going after young women whose politics differ from hers, dating back to her 2006 attacks on President George W. Bush’s twin daughters, whom she felt displayed too much cleavage. She should set aside her hatred for Supreme Court justices who don’t share her political views. At the very least, if she has any decency, she should leave their clerks alone.

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