Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is speaking Thursday at the University of Portland, and
the Oregonian reportshe struck up an unusual friendship one of the students there.
That student, 20-year-old Dakota Garza, is a registered Democrat. She met the conservative justice Thomas at a 2011 conference in Washington, D.C. for the Horatio Alger Association, which gave her a college sholarship.
On a dare from other scholarship winners, she asked Thomas to join their table during one of the lunches, according to the Oregonian. He agreed. Thomas, who like Garza grew up poor, later urged the university and the Horatio Alger Association to cover the full cost of her tuition.
To people who know Thomas, this story may not be all that surprising. Jay Wexler, a former clerk for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has called Thomas “very much sort of the most normal of the justices” in an ABA Journal podcast.
Hanna Stotland, a consultant who knows several of Thomas’ former clerks, said in the same podcast that he’s “very sweet to his clerks and kind of a marshmallow and delightful to work for.”
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