Clarence Thomas II? A Black Nominee to the Federal Courts Who Is a Strong Opponent of Affirmative Action

Yet another nominee of President Bush to a high judicial post has come under fire. And this appointee is a black man.

Jerome A. Holmes is an attorney for Crowe & Dunlevy in Oklahoma City. He is an experienced trial lawyer serving 11 years as a federal prosecutor. He now specializes in defending corporations and individuals in white-collar crime cases. Holmes is a 1983 graduate of Wake Forest University. He earned his law degree at Georgetown University Law Center. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Despite his credentials, civil rights groups are united in their opposition to President Bush’s nomination of Holmes to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is headquartered in Denver. The main reason civil rights groups oppose the Holmes nomination are his views on affirmative action. Writing in the Daily Oklahoman, Holmes said that the Supreme Court erred in its 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, which upheld the use of race in the admissions process at the University of Michigan School of Law. Holmes wrote that the Court “missed an important opportunity to drive the final nail in the coffin of affirmative action.”

Holmes is also a strong supporter of the death penalty and school vouchers, two programs opposed by most civil rights organizations. He has also been critical of black leaders including Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who, Holmes says, “peddle a misguided and dangerous message of victimization.”