More than 100 former law clerks of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas signed an open letter defending his “unimpeachable” integrity and unwavering independence in the face of attacks from leaders on the political left.

Thomas, 75, has called himself “decidedly and unapologetically Catholic.” He is widely regarded as a conservative titan and has a strong pro-life voting record on the Court. Thomas was part of the six-justice majority in the Dobbs decision that struck down Roe v. Wade after nearly 50 years.

As CatholicVote previously reported, Thomas “also wrote the majority opinion in NIFLA v. Becerra, the 2018 case that struck down a California state law that forced pro-life pregnancy resource centers to publicly promote and advertise abortions.”

He was nominated by then-President George H.W. Bush in 1991, and has by far the longest tenure of the nine Supreme Court Justices. October will mark 32 years since he assumed his position at the age of 43.

The second-most senior member of the Court, Chief Justice John Roberts, assumed his position after Thomas had already been on the court for 14 years.

Thomas is also the second African-American Supreme Court justice, following Thurgood Marshall, whom he replaced on the Court.

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The left has long targeted Thomas, levying baseless allegations against him that have ramped up since the Court repealed Roe.

Earlier this year, the left-leaning news source ProPublica published a series of articles claiming Thomas was “corrupt” and had run afoul of ethics rules.

In April, CatholicVote noted that the “sole basis of this allegation is his friendship with Texas real estate developer Harlan Crow and the fact that Thomas and his wife Ginni have taken vacations with Crow and his wife Kathy.”

Months later, the individuals whom ProPublica had cited as “ethics experts” in their report were outed as major donors to Democratic Party candidates and causes.

“As his law clerks, we offer this response,” wrote the letter’s signatories. “Different paths led us to our year with Justice Thomas, and we have followed different paths since.”

But along the way, we all saw with our own eyes the same thing: His integrity is unimpeachable. And his independence is unshakable, deeply rooted seven decades ago as that young child who walked through the door of his grandparents’ house for a life forever changed.

The letter touched on Thomas’ early life growing up in poverty in the Jim Crow-era South.

On the U.S. Supreme Court is a Justice descended from West African slaves and born to a young mother, not more than 20, in segregated Georgia. Home was Pin Point, among the Gullah-Geechee and oysters and marshlands. His father left. And a fire took all he had and the shack where he lived.

He was sent to Savannah along with his brother. They lived in their mother’s one-room tenement. Then, still just a child, taking all his belongings in a half-filled paper grocery bag, he went to live with his grandparents, Myers and Christine Anderson. It was the longest and most significant journey of his life. He and his brother flushed the indoor toilet every time they walked by. The kitchen refrigerator dazzled them.

His grandfather enrolled him in a Catholic school run by Irish nuns. It was a segregated school of only black children. The Klan marched through Savannah. And Forsyth Park was for whites only. During the summers, he sawed trees by hand and plowed behind a horse named Lizzie at his grandfather’s farm—a farm owned since freedom came at long last to his family.

The clerks wrote, “Justice Thomas has never strayed from those beginnings,” noting that “a bust of his grandfather—himself raised by a grandmother born into slavery—watches over his office.”

“It is an ever-present reminder that he is no ordinary Justice,” they added:

And yet, the stories most often told of Justice Thomas are not these. The Justice is ever the subject of political headlines taking aim at his character, his judicial philosophy, his marriage, even his race.

They attempt to write over his actual story. Lately, the stories have questioned his integrity and his ethics for the friends he keeps. They bury the lede. These friends are not parties before him as a Justice of the Court.

And these stories are malicious, perpetuating the ugly assumption that the Justice cannot think for himself. They are part of a larger attack on the Court and its legitimacy as an institution. The picture they paint of the Court and the man for whom we worked bears no resemblance to reality.

The 112 clerks concluded the letter by saying they were “proud to have been his clerks and to remain his friends” and “unequivocally reject attacks on his integrity, his character, or his ethics.”

As FOX News highlighted, notable signatories of the letter “include current solicitors general, general counsels, partners at litigation firms and law professors. Three circuit court judges also signed the letter: David Stras on the 8th Circuit, Jim Ho of the 5th Circuit, and Allison Rushing, 4th Circuit.”

Two weeks ago, Judge Ho penned a dissenting opinion to the 5th Circuit’s mifepristone ruling in which he argued the court should have revoked the abortion drug’s FDA approval.

Other notable signatories of the letter include Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, the judge who last year struck down the federal mask mandate for air travel, and FOX News personality Laura Ingraham.

LifeNews Note: Joshua Mercer writes for CatholicVote, where this column originally appeared.

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