10/31/2013 04:31 pm ET Updated Oct 31, 2013

GOP Lawmaker Has Clarence Thomas Brain Fart, Can't Remember 'The Black Judge'

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One Republican state representative had some trouble naming the U.S. Supreme Court's lone African-American justice, stumbling in epic fashion.

In a wide-ranging MSNBC piece on abortion restrictions in Oklahoma, pro-life state Rep. Mike Ritze (R) was asked for his thoughts on where the state's judiciary stands on the issue. The MSNBC story chronicles the difficulties of a couple ending a wanted pregnancy in the Sooner State, and the concurrent rise of Republican control in the state's House (2004), Senate (2008) and governor (2010) posts.

"Maybe as we see more Republicans, there will be fewer and fewer liberal judges appointed,” Ritze said of the judiciary's role. “More of what we call the original intent-type of judge. Your Anton [sic] Scalias and your judge -- the black judge, the Supreme Court judge.”

Ritze made headlines back in November, overseeing the construction of a 2000-pound granite block on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol depicting the Ten Commandments. The Oklahoman noted that there were several spelling errors on the monument, headed by "Remember the Sabbeth day."

It's a simple fix,” Ritze told the paper at the time. “Scribner's errors or misspellings are not uncommon with monument manufacturing.”

Thomas is currently the third-longest tenured Supreme Court justice, serving for 22 years. He took his seat in October 1991, replacing Thurgood Marshall, who became the first African-American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967.


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