Clarence Thomas Gets A Rare “Double Dunce,” Ethical And Political

I really don’t comprehend how this can happen with someone like Justice Clarence Thomas. Donald Trump, sure. But Thomas is smarter than this.

Between 2003 and 2007, Ginni Thomas, the Justice’s controversial wife and a hard-Right activist, earned $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, according to a Common Cause review of the foundation’s IRS records. Yet Justice Thomas failed to note the income in his Supreme Court financial disclosure forms for those years. He checked a box labeled “none” where “spousal non-investment income” is supposed to be disclosed.

Federal judges are bound by law to disclose the source of spousal income, meaning that if the information found by Common Cause is accurate, Thomas did not comply with the law. SCOTUS justices are supposed to obey the law, even more than everybody else, in some respects. Legal ethics expert Steven Lubet (I used his legal ethics textbook when I taught the subject at American University!) says that a failure to disclose spousal income by a federal judge “is not a crime of any sort, but there is a potential civil penalty” for it. “I am not aware of a single case of a judge being penalized simply for this,” the professor says.

It doesn’t matter. Nor does it matter that the Justice’s omission occurred 15 years ago. Thomas knows that he is the #1 target of Democrats and progressives who want to get him off the Court, or at very least neutralize him as much as possible. He has to be extra-careful, not extra-careless, and he’s understood this since he was (barely) confirmed decades ago after Democrats dredged up Anita Hill for an ambush in his confirmation hearings.

The omissions of his tax returns had to be mistakes; if not, they were spectacularly reckless decisions, literally asking for trouble. Conservatives don’t have to ask for trouble: the government, media and the current fans of single-party, iron-boot progressive government are already eager to inflict it on those, like Thomas, who they see as impediments to “the greater good.”

7 thoughts on “Clarence Thomas Gets A Rare “Double Dunce,” Ethical And Political

  1. I’m watching the three-year old Apple TV series, “For All Mankind”. In the most recent episode I watched, the would-be first female astronaut is messing around in the simulator and is later lectured by a woman in Mission Control about how she doesn’t seem to appreciate how many females are counting on her. The astronaut in training complains that she’s not trying to be a role model but is told that she has to be perfect (because a lot of people don’t want her to succeed).

    It never ceases to amaze me that Republicans like Justice Thomas who have a perpetual target on their back aren’t more vigilant about everything they say and do. Or that the Republican party allows people like Herschel Walker to run as a candidate.

  2. In a world where information such as this is readily available, otherwise Left leaning organizations such as Common Cause, would not be able find it. Common Cause is an organization that focuses its efforts on damage conservatives. Their site claims that Snopes, Politifact, Washington Post and others are reputable fact checkers.

    The premise is that the public has a right to know financial information of persons in power in order to assess potential bias. So what if they get this information what can they do with it with respect to confirmed judges? Not much. Do we ask judges what causes they send money to?

    If this issue has been around for years and no government agency has demanded the information be corrected I have a hard time getting my panties in a wad over this. Secondly, anyone who does not know Gianni Thomas is a conservative activist it is unlikely they are concerned about a woman who averaged less than AOC per year in income.

    Until Common Cause starts asking how our current president has amassed the millions in wealth that allows him to own multiple properties including waterfront property on a salary of just $175k per year then they can talk about the ethical issues of Justice Roberts.

    With that said he should recognize he has a target on his back making him a dunce.

    Maybe we should discuss the ethics of putting targets on people because they don’t profess fidelity to the cause.

  3. In a world where information such as this readily available allowing left leaning organizations such as Common Cause to ferret it out, anyone who wanted to assess Justice Roberts judicial temperament could find it out if they wanted to. Common Cause claims to be non-partisan but it seems to only focuses its efforts on conservatives. The organization’s website touts the reliability of fact checkers such as Facebook, Snopes, Politifact, the Washington Post and others who shade the truth for their allies and assume the worst motives of their enemies.

    The premise behind the question is where does an elected or appointed person’s allegiance lie? Such financial information is a suggestive indicator of bias. So, what difference does this information make after the confirmation of a lifetime judicial appointment? What will can people do with this information? Not much if anything. It seems to me the relevant issues are what causes do Justices support financially?

    Secondly, if this issue has been around for years and no government agency has demanded it be corrected, I have a hard time getting my panties in a wad over this. Thirdly, anyone who does not know Ginni Thomas is a conservative activist is unlikely to be concerned about a woman who earned an average income over the years in question than a freshman Congressman or Congresswoman.

    Until Common Cause and others start asking how the Biden’s lifestyle could not be supported on his earning from his Senate salary and Jill’s income then I will take them seriously.

    With that said, Justice Thomas should recognize he has a target on his back making him a dunce.

    Maybe we should be discussing the ethics of putting targets on people because they don’t profess fidelity to the cause or because they represent an opportunity to diminish a race or gender.

  4. Question- Is there anywhere in the world where the data about politicians’ net worth before and after leaving public service is honestly revealed? I have always thought that the increase in the net worth of politico that ought to be tolerated is the increase that is relational to the cost of living. Anything more than that should be questioned.

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