Patterico's Pontifications

5/4/2023

More Revelations Concerning Justice Thomas And Harlan Crow

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:54 pm



[guest post by Dana]

A new report reveals that longtime friend of Justice Clarence Thomas and Republican megadonor, Harlan Crow, paid the tuition for Thomas’ grandnephew at two private boarding schools. Crow’s office released this statement:

“Harlan Crow has long been passionate about the importance of quality education and giving back to those less fortunate, especially at-risk youth. It’s disappointing that those with partisan political interests would try to turn helping at-risk youth with tuition assistance into something nefarious or political.” The statement added that Crow and his wife have “supported many young Americans” at a “variety of schools, including his alma mater.” Crow went to Randolph-Macon Academy.

Thomas reportedly did not disclose the tuition payments as gifts. However, Mark Paoletta, a longtime friend of Thomas and lawyer to his wife, claims that Thomas did not need to report the payments:

Harlan Crow’s tuition payments made directly to these schools on behalf of Justice Thomas’s great nephew did not constitute a reportable gift. Justice Thomas was not required to disclose the tuition payments made directly to Randolph Macon and the Georgia school on behalf of his great nephew because the definition of a “dependent child” under the Ethics in Government Act (5 U.S.C. 13101 (2)) does not include a “great nephew.” It is limited to a “son, daughter, stepson or stepdaughter.”

Meanwhile, Judge J. Michael Luttig, who was nominated by President George H. W. Bush and is reported to be friends with some conservative members of the court, including Thomas, addressed the issue of Supreme Court ethics in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In part:

The respect in which the Supreme Court is held by the American People is a function of both the respect that the Court’s judgments command and the respect that the Court earns by virtue of the manner in which it comports itself publicly and privately in the course of discharging its solemn judicial duties. It is the Supreme Court’s duty to acquit itself in the discharge of its judicial responsibilities so as to continually assure and reassure the American people that its judgments are
deserving of respect. It is also the duty of each and every man and woman upon whom is conferred the privilege to serve on the Supreme Court to conduct themselves in their non-judicial conduct and activities in such a manner that they are individually deserving of respect — indeed, beyond reproach, not only in fact, but also in appearance. This, at all times and places, in both public and in private.

The continuing obligation of the Supreme Court to ensure faith, respect, and confidence in the Court assumes a continuing need to reexamine itself as faith, respect, and public confidence in the Court ebbs and flows, which public confidence in the Court has historically done and can be expected to do in the future. This continuing obligation to assess itself — to look in the mirror at itself if you will — exists irrespective of whether the ebbs and the flows are believed to be justified by the Court.

The nation should never have reason to question the ethical conduct of the Supreme Court. It is the responsibility of the Supreme Court, and of each Justice who serves on the Court, to ensure that there never even be such a question raised.

–Dana

76 Responses to “More Revelations Concerning Justice Thomas And Harlan Crow”

  1. Late to this, but life…

    I love the last para from Judge Luttig.

    Dana (560c99)

  2. IF the conversation ends up being that these Justices must observe stricter reporting for these sort of things…I think that’s a worthy conversation.

    But what’s really going on here is that those same Democrats/activists/leftist publications are trying to impose, informally or formally, through public opinion or through some unenforceable formal system, some rules on the Supreme Court, and use that as a bludgeon against future bad rulings.

    The left is about to lose on a lot of cases in the near future, and they’re working to undermine this court at all cost, simply because they’ve lost ideological control.

    Any claims of impropriety should be met with caution because these critics will always have a jaundiced-partisan view of these things.

    whembly (d116f3)

  3. Any claims of impropriety should be met with caution because these critics will always have a jaundiced-partisan view of these things.

    whembly (d116f3) — 5/4/2023 @ 2:38 pm

    That would be true if the claims were false, but not even Justice Thomas has denied the facts as reported.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. Propublica is a left wing trash heap. No different than Kos. Look forward to their whitewash of Sotomayor.

    NJRob (5a505e)

  5. @3

    That would be true if the claims were false, but not even Justice Thomas has denied the facts as reported.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 5/4/2023 @ 2:41 pm

    Not denying that it was false.

    Denying that it was improper.

    whembly (d116f3)

  6. @4 propaganda technique of red herring. Non denial denial. (all the president’s men woodward & bernstein) Thomas just follows the golden rule those with the gold rule! Democrats in senate refuse to fund security for justices until thomas resigns. Some good news out of the senate for a change!

    asset (94c402)

  7. Breyer recused himself from cases involving Random House “likely due to his wife’s stake in the publishing house Pearson because it was previously owned by Penguin and later Penguin Random House” not because of book contract. It would be interesting to see if any other Justices who wrote books recused themselves from cases involving their publishers.

    Neither Thomas or Sotomayor committed a crime. The only enforcement mechanism is impeachment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. Democrats in senate refuse to fund security for justices until thomas resigns. Some good news out of the senate for a change!

    Disgusting.

    BuDuh (047c66)

  9. whembly (d116f3) — 5/4/2023 @ 2:38 pm

    IF the conversation ends up being that these Justices must observe stricter reporting for these sort of things…I think that’s a worthy conversation.

    No it’s not.

    It’s virtually impossible for a person to realize what gifts he has received, especially non-cash ones and paid on his behalf.

    DRJ wrote, that as a result of reporting requirements most judges in Texas avoid decline perks and

    some even decline to socialize with people who aren’t judges, because they never know.

    when a case impacting people they know might come up.

    She writes further:

    I don’t know any Supreme Court judges but I know lots of Texas judges. This is always on their minds and it impacts their behavior and their families. But some judges feel like that is asking to much to expect them and their families to give up so much to avoid an appearance of impropriety.

    And besides, they are not investigating other justices. So this is not genuine or worthwhile, except to cast unwarranted suspicion.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  10. whembly:

    But what’s really going on here is that those same Democrats/activists/leftist publications are trying to impose, informally or formally, through public opinion or through some unenforceable formal system, some rules on the Supreme Court, and use that as a bludgeon against future bad rulings.

    No they are not.

    They are trying to impose a de facto double standard, and also discourage conservatives from agreeing to be appointed to the Supreme Court and/or push people into different camps so anything they rule can be delegitimized. And they’ve got crazy theories, like that the 14th amendment authorizes the Treasury to borrow money – the government doesn’t even need to borrow money to pay back debt when due. They may need to pay employees, Social Security, contracts etc but there’senough coming in to pay bondholders.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  11. And any ethics rules can have loopholes (relatives for instance) and cover a lot of things they shouldn’t.

    This is not real. It’s finding gotchas, and nonchalantly characterizing reporting requirements as easy to comply with.

    The left is about to lose on a lot of cases in the near future, and they’re working to undermine this court at all cost, simply because they’ve lost ideological control.

    Yes, probably, and also to encourage people to vote Democrat for Senate and president and everything (because less informed people are not clear about civics, and this is, of course, targeted at less well informed people.
    .

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  12. 8. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 5/4/2023 @ 3:21 pm

    It would be interesting to see if any other Justices who wrote books recused themselves from cases involving their publishers.

    And then, what about copyright cases?

    https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20030120/26460-supreme-court-upholds-copyright-extension.html

    Lawrence Lessig’s creative and at times quixotic fight against the Sonny Bono copyright extension law suffered a fatal blow last week when the Supreme Court ruled 7—2 to uphold the law. As per the 1998 statute, copyright remains 70 years plus life of author for rights held by individuals and 95 years for corporations.

    In practical publishing terms, the ruling allows for a range of work in a 20-year window to remain with the copyright-holder. In legal and philosophical terms, the ruling empowers and perhaps emboldens Congress to pass copyright laws and could be a cue to lower courts to rebuff challenges to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is another important battlefield for those who think information should be free and those who believe in the broad rights of license-holders.

    “Had this been 5—4 or even 6—3, there would have been a lot more ambiguity in what the court was saying,” said Allan Adler of the AAP. “But this is a big victory.”

    The publishing community had been divided on the issues—traditional copyright-holders ran into conflict with publishers and authors who rely on the public domain—but the AAP supported the government because it felt an overturn could weaken Congress’s right to legislate copyright law, a right sacred to the AAP.

    With the unambiguously worded majority decision, court challenges to laws that strengthen copyright will likely become more tricky, even as the cry for such challenges from the digital-rights camp is likely to get louder. Some observers speculated after the decision that while an unfavorable Supreme Court ruling was unlikely to help the cause of those in Lessig’s camp, the profile it raised among average citizens could have implications beyond the courtroom.

    The majority opinion, from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, acknowledged the risks in extending copyright repeatedly, but denied the Court’s place to intervene in these decisions. “Congress has not altered the traditional contours of copyright protection,” she wrote, thus, “further First Amendment scrutiny is unnecessary.”

    Justice Stephen Breyer, who expressed the most skepticism about the statute during oral arguments, wrote in his dissent that Congress had indeed crossed a constitutional line, and that it was well on its way to copyright-in- perpetuity. Justice John Paul Stevens, the other dissenter, agreed that the law disproportionately benefited copyright-holders at the expense of the public interest and without any clear benefit to the promotion of science and the useful arts. He wrote: “By failing to protect the public interest in free access to the products of inventive and artistic genius—indeed by virtually ignoring the central purpose of the copyright-patent clause—the court has quitclaimed to Congress its principal responsibility in this area of the law.”

    A version of this article appeared in the 01/20/2003 issue of Publishers Weekly…

    But Congress has not done it again and copyrights have begun to expire after 95 years.

    About another copyright lawsuit

    https://www.computerworld.com/article/2544130/lessig–supreme-court-copyright-ruling-invites-chaos.html

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  13. I really don’t care about the rules placed up SCOTUS. I very much care to see those rules enforced equitably, and not just to advance an outside political agenda.

    “It’s different when I do it” is not exactly a ringing endorsement of our culture.

    Simon Jester (ca4340)

  14. The left is about to lose on a lot of cases in the near future, and they’re working to undermine this court at all cost, simply because they’ve lost ideological control.

    whembly (d116f3) — 5/4/2023 @ 2:38 pm

    That is a very good point, whembly. I mean, look what the left stooped to in the Kavanaugh hearings–the goings-on at a juvenile drinking party, and parsing the scribblings in a high school yearbook.

    I doubt the mainstream media would bring a similar focus to the grand-nephews and grand-nieces of the liberal Justices. They just don’t roll that way.

    Anybody who doesn’t believe that the major media have a left-of-center bias does not have a firm grasp on reality.

    norcal (15fce4)

  15. Democrats in senate refuse to fund security for justices until thomas resigns. Some good news out of the senate for a change!

    News from the Supreme Court: Injunction against providing security for Senate Democrats.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  16. I once tried to give a company-logo coffee mug to a government partner on a project. He declined because it wasn’t clearly worth less than $5. It was embarrassing, actually.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  17. #7… hold your principles tight asset.

    Colonel Haiku (3618a8)

  18. @13:

    Lessig failed because he could not bring himself to appeal to the non-statists on the court. His position was about the 1rst amendment trumping copyright or some such.

    The case could have been made as a Takings case and a Contract case.

    By creating works and submitting them for copyright the artists and/or companies made an implied contract: protect our rights for the lawful duration and the Public gets free access to them afterwards.

    By government extending the duration for existing works, it engaged in Taking (from the public domain) and constituted an illegal governmental breach of a contract between the creators and the general public.

    But no, that would have meant aligning with Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist, and they had cooties.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  19. I don’t get it. We are not supposed to say anything about the current Presidents son’s financial dealings because Hunter is his own man. The brother of the current President, his own man. But here we have a grand nephew who is fair game. I just want a ruling on how far down the family tree we can go because I was under the impression that if sons and brothers are off limits, then I could be positive a nephews kids were well away from scrutiny. This isn’t whataboutism, its lady justice holding her scales where a son of the nephew of a conservative seems to weigh more than a son and a brother of the President combined

    steveg (ce47d5)

  20. There was a time when the Speaker of the House used “book sales” as a cover for people giving money to him, personally. When he got caught he resigned and so did his bagman.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  21. Sotomayor should resign. And not just for this; she was the leaker.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  22. Has the grand nephew been named? That’s where I would draw the line.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. Sotomayor should resign. And not just for this; she was the leaker.

    The evidence for that is just as strong as for Alito.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  24. The Supreme Court is a co-equal branch of government. It should be able to draw on the Treasury for its own security. Refusing to allow that for political reasons is an attack on the independent judiciary. It is as unsupportable as the Court saying it will strike down any law passed until it has funds for security.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  25. Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 5/4/2023 @ 4:17 pm

    None of which applies to my question.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  26. The evidence for that is just as strong as for Alito.

    No, because only effing mental cases think it was Alito.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  27. Has the grand nephew been named? That’s where I would draw the line.

    Yeah, well, I’m happy you have a line, if only there.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  28. The Supreme Court is a co-equal branch of government. It should be able to draw on the Treasury for its own security.

    They do have their own police force, but like every other government function, is dependent of Congress for its funding. Even the Executive, also a co-equal branch, is dependent on Congressional funding.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  29. Has the grand nephew been named

    In the first paragraph of Dana’s ProPublica link. (The same “center left” link Paul used in his “‘splaining” post.

    BuDuh (047c66)

  30. It would be interesting to see if any other Justices who wrote books recused themselves from cases involving their publishers.
    ………
    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 5/4/2023 @ 3:21 pm

    Sotomayor was not the only justice who had a relationship with the publisher and did not recuse themself in a case involving Penguin Random House.

    Author Jennie Nicassio requested the court hear a case she had against Penguin Random House and Viacom International in 2019. Penguin Random House also is the publisher of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s book, but only Breyer recused himself when the court decided against hearing the case in February 2020.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  31. Reposting for clarity:

    It would be interesting to see if any other Justices who wrote books recused themselves from cases involving their publishers.
    ………
    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 5/4/2023 @ 3:21 pm

    Sotomayor was not the only justice who had a relationship with the publisher and did not recuse themself in a case involving Penguin Random House.

    Author Jennie Nicassio requested the court hear a case she had against Penguin Random House and Viacom International in 2019. Penguin Random House also is the publisher of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s book, but only Breyer recused himself when the court decided against hearing the case in February 2020.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  32. CNN

    “Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, who has pressed for more transparency from the judiciary, told CNN that the federal law concerning recusal has long been interpreted as applying to stock ownership on the part of the justice or a close family member.
    Roth said that Breyer, who retired in 2022, likely recused himself from the cases because he owns stock in a company that for a time had a large stake in Penguin.”

    Gorsuch has a book and didn’t recuse himself. Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson have books coming out any day now.

    More from the 9-0 SCOTUS decision on recusal from CNN:
    “If the full Court or any subset of the Court were to review the recusal decisions of individual Justices, it would create an undesirable situation in which the Court could affect the outcome of a case by selecting who among its Members may participate”

    steveg (ce47d5)

  33. The evidence for that is just as strong as for Alito.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 5/4/2023 @ 5:20 pm

    The evidence for either is non-existent. Just biased speculation.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  34. Forgot to add how judges seem to put a lot of trust in precedent interpretations

    steveg (ce47d5)

  35. The evidence for either is non-existent. Just biased speculation.

    We don’t actually know the evidence, there may be plenty. Why would Alito want to organize the Left though?

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  36. Let me amend that: the publicly disclosed evidence is non-existent. For all we know, Roberts has meaningful evidence unknown to us. But in the universe of evidence available to us, there’s no informed basis for accusing any Justice of leaking the draft opinion.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  37. Kevin,

    I think the Left’s explanations for Alito being the leaker are even more far-fetched than the Right’s for Sotomayor (see my comments DCSCA over the past months). But they’re both 100% evidence-free conjecture.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  38. lurker (cd7cd4) — 5/4/2023 @ 5:48 pm

    There you go again, lurker, being all reasonable and everything. 😉

    norcal (15fce4)

  39. all reasonable and everything

    Or as someone I’ll leave nameless to spare him an aneurysm might say, “you misspelled ‘leftist’.”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  40. Variety of sources say:

    It’s been almost one year since the draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked, and now, Justice Samuel Alito says he thinks he knows who did it.

    In an interview with The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, Alito said he has a “pretty good idea” who was responsible for unprecedented breach of court secrecy.
    “I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible, but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody,” Alito said.
    Alito suggested it was not one of the conservative justices.”

    “Look, this made us targets of assassination. Would I do that to myself? Would the five of us have done that to ourselves?” Alito asked the paper. “It’s quite implausible.”
    “It was a part of an effort to prevent the Dobbs draft … from becoming the decision of the court. And that’s how it was used for those six weeks by people on the outside — as part of the campaign to try to intimidate the court,” he said.

    I think if Alito is the leaker, this would be a major red flag because this would be a fabrication intended to obstruct or smokescreen the truth

    steveg (ce47d5)

  41. I think Roberts cleared Alito to speak to this in the interview, allowing Alito could defend himself, his integrity and reputation. I don’t think it was directly Sotomayor, but I’m sure she has law clerks who might have considered it.

    steveg (ce47d5)

  42. @38/@42. Far-fetching? Alito did it– and he’s itching to tell you he “ordered the Code Red” a la Nathan Jessup, too. And now he’s safe to play the role of a ‘Columbo’ villain, shoveling chaff to the WSJ by suggesting others as culprits to pursue– as if young law clerks with their whole careers ahead of them would scuttle their own futures. But an old fart like Alito, near the end of his time on the bench, would imply otherwise and throw them under the cloud of suspicion w/o batting an eye. His ‘I’m-pretty-sure-I-know -but can’t-tell-you’ tease is meant to deflect. He knows all right; and sees the leaker every morning in the mirror.

    Just look at his history over the years- particularly at public functions; even the text of the leaked draft itself- he’s a religious zealot; reaches back to the 17th century no less… and has a cross to bear. He believes he should be CJ. And he can’t keep quiet.

    Samuel Alito: the abrasive justice taking abortion rights back to the 17th century
    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2022/may/06/samuel-alito-profile-abortion-supreme-court-justice

    Alito’s Roe attack betrays a medieval ignorance of ancient history
    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/alitos-roe-v-wade-abortion-draft-ruling-betrays-medieval-ignorance-anc-rcna27473

    There’s no way Roberts, who likely knows who it is– given the closed system and limited access to said file[s]– is going to further destroy the tattered integrity of the SCOTUS as an institution in this environment by outing a sitting justice. We’ll find out when Sam’s gone from the bench and this world- or in the CJ’s memoirs.

    DCSCA (5bd5f0)

  43. @22. Alito should resign; he was the leaker.

    FIFY

    DCSCA (5bd5f0)

  44. Conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo arranged for the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to be paid tens of thousands of dollars for consulting work just over a decade ago, specifying that her name be left off billing paperwork, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post.

    In January 2012, Leo instructed the GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway to bill a nonprofit group he advises and use that money to pay Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the documents show. The same year, the nonprofit, the Judicial Education Project, filed a brief to the Supreme Court in a landmark voting rights case.

    Leo, a key figure in a network of nonprofits that has worked to support the nominations of conservative judges, told Conway that he wanted her to “give” Ginni Thomas “another $25K,” the documents show. He emphasized that the paperwork should have “No mention of Ginni, of course.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2023/05/04/leonard-leo-clarence-ginni-thomas-conway/

    Davethulhu (fe2f72)

  45. @27. Projecting again.

    DCSCA (5bd5f0)

  46. One has to be careful how one reads the MSM and the stories they choose to present. Their level of betting depends greatly on whose ox is gored.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  47. *vetting

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  48. I imagine there are a lot of politicians who would not like auditors to look at family nephews or nieces. Could start a dangerous precedent.

    Joe (309aff)

  49. FWIW I have had to fill out a form 450 for Govt.
    I don’t believe it mentions nieces or nephews.

    Joe (309aff)

  50. The left’s constant smearing of one of the greatest men in American history is especially repugnant. Shows how they feel about a black man who doesn’t toe the line.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  51. I’m so old I remember when Republicans occasionally were sincerely anti-corruption. Now they’re whining the the real crime is exposing it.

    Clarence Crow (because, face it, Harley is absolutely his daddy) is a disgrace, much like those twisting themselves in knots defending him.

    Sad.

    john (aff6cb)

  52. If Crow paying Thomas’ grandnephew’s tuition were just a one-off, it wouldn’t have been a big story, but this is more than one thing, given the earlier news that Crow jetted the Justice and his wife around the world in a private plane to several swank joints, and I’m not going to get into Crow’s purchase (or partial purchase) of Thomas’ mom’s house.

    And now there’s this other thing, involving Thomas’ nutty wife and some cash she got under the table.

    It’s really more than a little bizarre. I know Kevin mentioned in another thread that Thomas came from humble beginnings, as if that’s some sort of excuse to take gifts from billionaires and not report them, but Ginni Thomas has a net worth of $80 million. They’re set. They have trans-generational wealth. Why even take the tuition gift. Why not err on the side of caution in disclosing this stuff.

    Last thing. There are some commenters who intimated that I want to run Thomas out of his job, but I don’t, and it wouldn’t happen anyway. If a president can’t get convicted in the Senate for betraying America and attempting a coup,
    then it’s far less likely that it would happen to a Supreme Court Justice who played a little too loosey-goosey on disclosures.

    As for Sotomayor, I already said that her non-recusal don’t smell kosher either. If the Thomas story helps left-leaning media to revisit and reexamine Sotomayor, then maybe some more good can come out of this.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  53. I agree with your comment, Paul Montagu.

    I also agree with Simon Jester:

    I really don’t care about the rules placed up SCOTUS. I very much care to see those rules enforced equitably, and not just to advance an outside political agenda.

    Dana (560c99)

  54. Why I loathe corporate establishment democrats. Al franken was on cnn tonight with poppy harlow. He spent all his time attacking clarence thomas and his wife for taking everything that isn’t nailed down. When harlow pointed out that both sotamoyer and gorsuch didn’t recuse themselves on a case with their publishers that paid them millions of dollars franken says thats different ignores sotomayer not recusing herself and goes right on attacking thomas and republicans in the senate. What a political hack not wanting to offend the democrat establishment. To bad harlow didn;t bring up AOC franken would have gladly attacked her or bernie sanders. What stooge for the DNC!

    asset (fbffcb)

  55. @51 Is this sarcasm?

    asset (fbffcb)

  56. Justice Thomas has lived the American dream and shown that a man from humble beginnings can rise to the top of his profession. But because he’s black and conservative he’s been smeared for his entire life. It’s disgraceful and racist.

    Asset is delusional.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  57. @52 when? On kent state day? nixon see watergate committing treason with south vietnam to win the 1968 election. Reagan/bush/casey/connally iran/contra treason to hold hostage to win 1980 election selling arms for hostages and cia contra drug dealing with bill clinton. Dubya allowing 9-11 to happen when he was warned so he could lie his way into invading iraq. Anybody here want to defend trump? Maybe ford. Maybe.

    asset (fbffcb)

  58. Thomas got where he is at by being a tom for rich white conservatives and selling out his people like thomas soales. Rich white conservatives put him in every place he landed. You know this. I don’t call others names here like delusional. Uncle tomas didn’t have to worry about ending up like fred hampton and mark clark for standing up for his people.

    asset (fbffcb)

  59. @59 asset (fbffcb) — 5/4/2023 @ 9:57 pm
    That is some soft bigotry asset, if not outright racism.

    whembly (d116f3)

  60. What we have with Thomas is someone who is been playing very close to the edge of the ethics rules for years. What his spouse does for a living and the money she makes at that raises red flags and alarm bells and numerous opportunities for graft that simply cannot be appropriately policed.

    This makes me less than sympathetic when I hear Thomas has overstepped some rule or Thomas’ sympathizers complain that ProPublica is picking on him. Sure, ProPublica politically motivated. Sure, there have been explanations offered in response to every single one of those ProPublica stories. But, I see than Ginny Thomas now has 80 million bucks in assets. Is that from her success in a political business? If so, why is she selected? The word is that she is not particularly full of political insights or brilliance.

    Working spouses are a problem in the application of ethics rules. It’s noteworthy how little effort Thomas spends in avoiding the problems.

    (By the way, BuDuh’s points on Sotomyer are extremely valid. It often takes press with a partisan bent to get these stories considered at all. Posssibly because the working spouse issue is a big problem with high powered DC Reporters.)

    Appalled (458165)

  61. Kevin M (f94f4f) — 5/4/2023 @ 5:48 pm

    . Why would Alito want to organize the Left though?

    In this non-factual theory,, Kavanaugh or someone else was about to break away from his opinion, but gearing the left up to be all against him and others would make him stick to it because he could not afford to look intimidated or that would happen with many cases.

    As the expression goes, this assumes a lot of facts that are not in evidence

    I think Alito thinks it is some clerk who has now left the court because he says relations among the justices are now pretty much back to normal. But he knows that suspicion might possibly be on the wrong person so he csn’t name him

    Sammy Finkelman (34ae93)

  62. What we have is an attack on Thomas, to allow Biden to name a replacement. This is political as the much more unethical behavior of Sotomayor is being ignored in the drive to “get” Justice Thomas. An attack that has been ongoing since his confirmation hearing.

    Just another “high-tech lynching.”

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  63. I know Kevin mentioned in another thread that Thomas came from humble beginnings, as if that’s some sort of excuse to take gifts from billionaires and not report them

    Nice spin on my words. But it’s mostly dishonest.

    The point I was making is that he does not have the personal wealth or family resources that almost every justice has. When faced with (for him) a large expense for someone he had taken in a decade ago, he reached out to a friend who could help him out with no real effort.

    Other justices would have had the personal wealth or the family connections to get this help in a more traditional manner. Since there is utterly no indication that there was a quid pro quo, and there was utterly no requirement that this BE reported, there is no ethical problem here.

    tldr: There was no ethical violation

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  64. I must admit I view government “ethics” laws as a list of rules for unethical people. They do not correspond to actual ethics.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  65. If Crow paying Thomas’ grandnephew’s tuition were just a one-off, it wouldn’t have been a big story, but this is more than one thing, given the earlier news that Crow jetted the Justice and his wife around the world in a private plane to several swank joints, and I’m not going to get into Crow’s purchase (or partial purchase) of Thomas’ mom’s house.

    Paul,

    Ask yourself why these VERY busy people are spending all this time, money and effort drilling down into every aspect of Thomas’ life. Then ask how many Senators could stand up under such a spotlight. Or even how many justices. We’ve already seen several conflicts regarding book deals and cases actually before the court.

    It’s not they are shocked SHOCKED that Thomas might have had help paying a relatives tuition, but that they have a definite hard-on for nailing Thomas during a Democrat presidency.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  66. BTW, Paul, I know this is heresy to you, but I believe “good government” to be an oxymoron.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  67. Thomas, properly roasted; served up w/a side order of Joe Biden and garnished w/some Long Dong Silver…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shkJfRpktGc

    DCSCA (be2aad)

  68. What this mostly does is make me care about the Hunter Biden thing.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  69. Ask yourself why these VERY busy people are spending all this time, money and effort drilling down into every aspect of Thomas’ life.

    What makes you think I haven’t, Kevin? This is politics.
    Also, how likely do you think Biden will replace Thomas? To me, it’s basically zero. Please tell me you remember a recent impeachment trial, the one that yielded no conviction even though the impeached person’s offenses of undermining our democracy were way worse than anything Thomas is alleged to have done.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  70. BTW, Paul, I know this is heresy to you, but I believe “good government” to be an oxymoron.

    Then you don’t know me, Kevin. Sh-tty comment on your part.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  71. One last comment, Kevin. Clarence Thomas married into money, so his getting help on tuition bills is nigh on ridiculous. He can well afford it, and any subsidy from a billionaire is utterly unnecessary.
    For context, which seems important to you, his nutty wife is worth $80 million and pulls in a cool $15 mil a year. WTF.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  72. The media uncovered that Clarence Thomas adopted his grandnephew to give him a better life and then Harlan Crow volunteered to pay for a year of his schooling.

    Damning stuff indeed. Truly damning worthy of criticism.

    What I don’t hear enough from Thomas’ critics, is the fact that the Thomas’ opened their home to their great-nephew and raise him as one of their own. More should be done to point this out imo.

    And the thing about the Thomas/Crow relationship is that it’s reasonable to see how such an arrangement COULD be used for graft. But it seems that many of Thomas’ critics went immediately to “THOMAS IS TAKING BRIBES” without explaining what he was being bribed for.

    Like even if you had footage of Thomas picking up a briefcase full of cash from a park bench-style you still have to make a case that the money is meant to influence how Thomas is executing his authority as a judge.

    And they don’t even bother to put up a theory!

    Goes to show, that it’s nothing more than partisan hackery, and there are those on this forum who think they’re being principled in their criticisms but are actually blindly falling into the left’s stated premise.

    whembly (d116f3)

  73. Maybe there would be more of a conflict of interest if his wife supplied the money.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  74. But it seems that many of Thomas’ critics went immediately to “THOMAS IS TAKING BRIBES” without explaining what he was being bribed for.

    I don’t assume he was taking bribes. On the publicly disclosed evidence all I’m prepared to say is that he created an appearance of impropriety. For more on that, see Paul’s comment @53.

    That said, your assertion that influence peddling requires a specific purpose for the influence is incorrect. What’s purchased may be a fix to a current problem, but it may just as likely be a debt of access and influence when and if required.

    “Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  75. Ted Cruz pointed out that a Supreme Court justice took multiple trips on the Pritzker family dime (nice people) was OK for years. Pro_publica seems fixated on Thomas.

    steveg (3b0381)


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