Clarence Thomas is celebrating his 30th anniversary on the Supreme Court. And how fitting it is that the Gray Center at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University honored that milestone last week with its first annual Justice Clarence Thomas First Principles Award. Even more fitting is that the first honoree is Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Silberman has taken senior status but continues to hear cases at age 86. He is one of the all-time giants of the federal bench, and he may be the most influential judge never to have sat on the Supreme Court. Dozens of his former law clerks, including Justice Amy Coney Barrett, have populated the federal bench, the executive branch, and even a law school faculty or two.