Doug, you can't seriously be arguing that making it through the Senate confirmation process equals proof of superior qualifiction as a jurist (or whatever the job), can you? Stacked up against Greg F.'s point, that being that legal scholars, both liberal and conservative (thus removing the issue of ideological bias), have weighed in on the lightness of Thomas's strength as a jurst, which you don't address, and your argument really comes across as water-thin and ideological. No sarcasm intended in saying this, but I really do hope that isn't your only point in support of Thomas.
Remove the fact that it's Clarence Thomas, remove the fact that he's an ideological conservative (which, IMHO, is what made him "qualified" for nomination in the first place, that and his skin tone, not his minimal and unimpressive judicial chops), and do you really believe that Senate confirmation=proof of qualification?
'Cause I can tell you, one of our past governors here in South Dakota (and a Democrat, mind you, so you can't claim ideological bias on my part), was Jimmy Carter's ambassador to Singapore. Now the guy was a dunce, and I'm pretty sure didn't even know where Singapore was until staffers pointed it out on a map.
But hey, he was confirmed by the Senate, so he must have been well-qualified.
And don't even get me started on the alleged "qualifications" of the also-Senate-confirmed James Watt....