The Heritage Foundation hosted an evening to remember, along with the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State of Antonin Scalia Law School. Justice Thomas celebrated his thirtieth year on the bench. This was truly an event of star power.
First, Judge Laurence Silberman was presented with the Justice Clarence Thomas First Principles Award by the Honorable C. Boyden Gray. Silberman played a crucial role in Thomas’s election to the D.C. Circuit, then later to the Supreme Court.
The second was Don McGahn, an ex-White House Counsel who introduced Senator Mitch McConnell. It was not known that McConnell had written his law review student paper on the confirmation of the judiciary. McConnell joked about how we need more judges that sit in the tub during confirmation votes. Thomas broke out in a huge laugh.
The third highlight was Justice Thomas’ remarks. His happiness was infectious. The room was full of his former clerks–or as he calls them, his “kids.” Many of his former clerks were federal judges. Many of Thomas’s former clerks were present on panels earlier in the day about Thomas’s jurisprudence.
There were also many luminaries at the reception. It was attended by Attorney General Meese, who was as sharp and knowledgeable as ever. McConnell’s ascent was met with enthusiastic applause from Meese. Roe V. Wade. Meese seems to be a good indicator of the Reagan revolution. James Buckley, Judge of the Supreme Court, entered the reception to enjoy a glass wine. The Buckley indeed. Buckley v. Valeo. Although I am not star-struck easily, I was star-struck by Judge Buckley when I touched his hand. When I told him that I taught his case in First Amendment, he commented about those partisans who tried to stop him. This is one great American.
John Malcolm, Jenn Mascott and Heritage, along with everyone from the Gray Center for organizing this amazing event deserve our gratitude.
Watch the entire event online: