Via Karoli, here’s a 1991 news item when Thomas was nominated for the Court.
Washington-area television viewers were startled last week to see three familiar senatorial faces pop up on their screens above the words WHO WILL JUDGE THE JUDGE? The follow-up question — “How many of these liberal Democrats could themselves pass ethical scrutiny?” — was hardly necessary, since the faces were those of Edward Kennedy, Joseph Biden and Alan Cranston, all scarred veterans of highly publicized scandals, from Chappaquiddick to plagiarized speeches to the Keating Five.
The ad, produced by two independent right-wing groups, was intended to bolster Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’ confirmation chances by pointing the finger at three liberal Democrats who seemed likely to oppose him. Not coincidentally, the ad was produced by the same people who launched the 1988 Willie Horton spot that branded Michael Dukakis soft on crime but left George Bush open to charges of racism. [...]
Although Bush and chief of staff John Sununu demanded that the ads be pulled, their right-wing sponsors — L. Brent Bozell III, chairman of the Conservative Victory Committee, and Floyd Brown, chairman of Citizens United — refused.
So Citizens United runs a favorable ad for Thomas. Then Thomas decides in favor of Citizens United. This decision has to be vacated. It’s obvious — now more than than ever — that Thomas shouldn’t have been allowed to plunk himself anywhere near the Citizens United case. Ads, Koch Brothers money, spousal associations. This is more egregiously wrong than just about any Supreme Court decision in a long, long time — even worse than Bush v Gore.