Vanderbilt Law Review


Gaull Silberman

First Page



In his recent article, Twenty-Five Years Later: Where Do We Stand On Equal Employment Opportunity Law Enforcement?, David Rose declares, "The time is ripe for review." Mr. Rose argues that "effective enforcement of the equal employment opportunity law in the next decade is a necessary, if not sufficient, predicate for the social and economic well being of the Nation."' From my perspective as Vice Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission), I heartily agree with both points. I must take issue,however, with Mr. Rose's assessment of developments in federal equal employment opportunity law over the last twenty-five years by focusing specifically on the last six years at the EEOC under the leadership of Clarence Thomas. I write to set the factual record straight.

Mr. Rose notes that Clarence Thomas, who became Chairman in 1982, devoted substantial time and effort in his first two years to correcting the bookkeeping and other financial problems of the Commission. The problems that greeted Thomas were orders of magnitude greater than Mr. Rose suggests. In fact, Thomas did spend two full years making the Commission function, but this task required a great deal more than paying the overdue bills: an entire infrastructure was needed.