Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas under attack, again
Recently the far-left publication ProPublica reported the following about Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas.
- For over nearly two decades, Thomas accepted "luxury trips virtually every year from real estate mogul and billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow without disclosing them, breaking long-standing norms for judges' conduct."
- Thomas's trips with Crow included "island-hopping through Indonesia on a superyacht to an annual summer stay at a private Adirondack resort."
- On one occasion, Thomas "flew on Crow's jet from Washington Dulles airport to New Haven, Connecticut, then flew back three hours later."
Overall, ProPublica is claiming that "the extent and frequency of Crow's apparent gifts to Thomas has no known precedent in the modern history of the Supreme Court."
The report was enough to cause D.C. Democrats to throw into a conniption fit.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), AKA AOC, who is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for possible violation of congressional rules for accepting impermissible gifts, branded Thomas as corrupt and demanded his impeachment:
This is beyond party or partisanship. This degree of corruption is shocking - almost cartoonish. Thomas must be impeached.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 6, 2023
Barring some dramatic change, this is what the Roberts court will be known for: rank corruption, erosion of democracy, and the stripping of human rights. https://t.co/t8fnGLVhbV
Senator Liz Warren (D-Mass.), who falsely claimed Native American heritage to boost her career, was also outraged.
The American people deserve a federal judiciary that is accountable to the rule of law, not wealthy Republican donors. Today's news is a stark reminder that judges should be held to the highest ethical standards and free from conflicts of interest. https://t.co/7Rm64JIcyi— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 6, 2023
Democrat Cori Bush who used campaign funds to pay her husband $60,000 for "security services," despite him being unqualified for the job, was exasperated. Bush retweeted an attack on Thomas by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).
Lieu, between 2017 and 2018, made campaign donations worth at least $50,000 to Stanford University. Years later, his son was admitted to the same university. It led many to wonder if the donations were a form of inducement.
Dear Justice Thomas: Your billionaire “friend” who you met after becoming a Justice, would not extend lavish hospitality to you year after year if you were a Court clerk. He’s doing it because of your position, not because he’s your friend. That’s what makes your actions corrupt. https://t.co/AppWKe8rAN— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 7, 2023
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Clarence Thomas needs to be impeached.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 6, 2023
The Lincoln Project, which attempted to cover up sexual misconduct allegations against one of its co-founders, claimed that Thomas is compromised.
There were many more who live in glass houses but opted to cast stones at Thomas.
The mainstream media made it look as though Thomas has committed an unprecedented and unforgivable sin.
Now for the responses.
Harlan Crow said that Thomas "never asked for any of this hospitality" and that his treatment of the justice was "no different from the hospitality we have extended to our many other dear friends."
Thomas responded to the allegations as follows:
New statement from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 7, 2023
"Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends ... was not reportable." pic.twitter.com/o2J9MVD0pm
So what does one make of all this?
If hanging out with wealthy donors is a crime, most humans in official D.C. will be imprisoned. But the argument that since everyone else does it, violations must be pardoned is fallacious.
Let's focus on facts and the rules.
In the N.Y. Post, Eddie Scarry reported that there are laws that require gift disclosures of federal office-holders. However, up until last month, it wasn't clear to what extent they applied to Supreme Court justices. The laws didn't specify luxury transit or resort property stays.
The last international trip hosted by Crow that Thomas attended and ProPublica reported about occurred in the summer of 2019.
The recently passed rules are more specific about gifts that sitting justices are required to disclose, and Thomas has pledged to follow them.
Beyond the rules, it seems unreasonable to expect Thomas to abandon all his friends who happen to be rich just because he is a Supreme Court justice.
Now, if there was a Supreme Court hearing on a case where Harlan Crow is an interested party, Thomas must recuse himself due to a conflict of interest. That situation hasn't arisen so far.
Harlan Crow is a well known conservative, and so is Thomas. Thomas's behavior or his rulings and his opinions didn't change after coming in contact with Crow.
Let's imagine a hypothetical scenario where Thomas had vacationed at the expense of George Soros and had suddenly changed his pro-life stand. That would have been very suspicious.
A conflict of interest occurs when financial inducements or gifts result in a deviation from usual conduct, or opinion, in the case of a judge. That emphatically hasn't occurred in Thomas's case.
But facts or norms never stop Democrats from abusing the system. AOC recently proclaimed that if no other Democrat introduces impeachment articles against Thomas, she will be "open" to doing it.
The process of impeaching a federal judge begins with the House of Representatives drafting articles of impeachment.
While only a narrow majority is needed to impeach a Supreme Court justice in the House, a conviction in the Senate would require a two-thirds majority. The Senate is currently split almost 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, hence a conviction is unlikely.
Some have questioned the timing of the attacks on Thomas.
Recently, Republicans challenged Judge Merchan, who is overseeing Trump's "hush money" case in Manhattan. Merchan made political contributions to Democrats while a sitting judge, which is grounds for Merchan to recuse himself. Perhaps the attack on Thomas is to paint a false equivalence?
Back to Thomas. The baseless attacks on him have been relentless since his confirmation process began in 1991.
This debunks the claim that the Democrats are protectors of African-Americans.
The diversity in the Democrat playbook is based on race, sex, etc. However, the diversity of ideas — i.e., challenging the Democrat groupthink — is forbidden and results in severe reprisals.
The Democrats have often engaged in patently racist attacks against African-Americans who challenge their deeply flawed ideas.
This is hardly a surprise, because, since their party's founding in 1829, the Democrats have stood against the rights of non-white people. They defended slavery, causing the Civil War. They founded the Ku Klux Klan and imposed segregation. They pushed Jim Crow laws and perpetrated lynching. They fought the civil rights acts of the 1960s.
Beyond race, let's look at Thomas as a person.
Thomas doesn't send mean tweets. He doesn't roast liberals or give them nicknames. He is soft-spoken and measured with his words. Yet he is a target.
This once again debunks the theory that Trump is the recipient of attacks owing to his "baggage" — i.e., his manner and conduct.
Thomas and Trump are targeted not because of their conduct or manner; it is what they stand for.
In fact, anyone who challenges the Democrat groupthink will be the target of a persistent smear campaign.
The Democrats remain chagrinned that the Supreme Court has a clear conservative majority, which makes it a sturdy wall against their tyranny. This is an attempt to weaken that wall. If they manage to force Thomas out, they hope he will be replaced by a liberal justice.
The ball once again is in the court of the Republicans and conservative media. They must investigate liberal judges to find their conflicts of interest. Perhaps they speed up investigations of Hunter Biden's shady deals that were struck due to the abuse of power of Joe Biden as vice president.
Yesterday, it was President Trump. Today, it was Supreme Court Justice Thomas. Tomorrow, it could be you. The time of passively reacting, refuting, and condemning till the next attack is mounted has long gone.
There is no time to lose. The GOP has no option but to be tough and soon.
Photo credit: official portrait.