Supreme Court justice's visit to Ga. spurs debate

By Greg Bluestein

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, May 18 2011 7:57 a.m. MDT

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is ruffling some feathers in east Georgia with plans to speak at the opening of a new courthouse named for a civil rights leader.

The Georgia native is planning to speak Wednesday at a new courthouse in Augusta named for civil rights leader John Ruffin Jr., the first black chief judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

But some say picking Thomas to speak at the event is a divisive and disrespectful move, considering the justice's conservative record.

It's the latest sign of Thomas' strained relations with his home state. His speeches at the University of Georgia in 2003 and 2008 were met with criticism from students and faculty.

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