Ethics Verdict: Justice Clarence Thomas Must Resign. Immediately. [Corrected]

There is no way to get around this, to rationalize it or to look the other way. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving justice on the court and the cornerstone of the current 6-3 conservative majority, must resign from the Court now. Today. There may be a route to impeaching him, but it is dubious and unlikely to succeed in removal.

I had just returned yesterday from giving a presentation to non-profit lawyers on professionalism, lawyers’ duty to do more than just avoid violating the ethics rules, but to comport themselves in a manner that bolsters the public’s trust in the profession. Judges at all levels have the same obligation. When I finally returned to my office and had the time and inclination to catch up on ethics developments, I encountered the news that Justice Thomas not only had breached that obligation in a stunning and unforgivable manner, but has been doings so for more than 20 years.

ProPublica, whose mission is “To expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing,” revealed that its investigation into Thomas’s longtime friendship with billionaire conservative donor Harlan Crow had revealed that he and his wife Ginni (a conservative activist) have taken yearly luxury vacations paid for by Crowe as the mogul’s guests. Thomas has also failed to report them.

This is shocking and disillusioning. In a typical jaunt in 2019, the Justice and his wife joined Crow and other guests on the billionaire’s private jet headed to Indonesia. (That’s a snapshot of the happy group above.) The couple spent nine days island-hopping on Crow’s 162-foot yacht while being served by dozens of attendants and a private chef. ProPublica estimates that if Thomas had chartered the plane and himself, the total cost of the trip could have exceeded $500,000, and he’s been similarly feted every year since the late Nineties. On many of these trips, the Thomases were accompanied by other conservatives. Presumably, the SCOTUS scion declined to discuss issues that were before the Court or might get there, but it doesn’t matter. The access undermines public trust. It looks terrible. It is terrible.

Accepting gifts on this scale is a per se breach of a judge’s ethical obligation to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Indeed, a federal judge accepting gifts on this scale is impropriety. There is no possible justification or excuse for it, which is undoubtedly why Thomas kept the trips secret. That only makes the offense worse.

The full report is here. Yecchh. ProPublica notes that the extent and frequency of Crow’s gifts to Thomas “have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.” That is true. If Thomas were an elected official, he would have broken a law. Although there are restrictions on what gifts federal judges can accept and the Supreme Court has no ethics code that it is obliged to follow (because the justices are presumed to be capable of policing themselves) Thomas’ conduct both in accepting the real estate tycoon’s largess and in failing to report it is a massive ethics breach. Interviewed by ProPublica,former government ethics lawyer Virginia Canter, who has served in the administrations of both parties, said that Thomas “seems to have completely disregarded his higher ethical obligations…Quite frankly, it makes my heart sink.”

Mine too.

Obviously progressives and Democrats, far from feeling their hearts sink, will be celebrating as their hearts soar like a hawk, as Old Lodgeskins says in “Little Big Man.” They have been trying to sink Thomas since he was nominated by President Bush I. Now he has handed his own head to his enemies on a platter. For his own good, to salvage what he can of his reputation, Thomas should retire. (He should have retired anyway as he is in his eighth decade, but that’s another story.)

For Republicans and conservatives, this is an integrity test. It should be an easy one. They should make this as painless as possible by demanding Thomas’ resignation loudly and unanimously if he has not stepped down by noon today.

85 thoughts on “Ethics Verdict: Justice Clarence Thomas Must Resign. Immediately. [Corrected]

  1. And hand Joe another SCOTUS slot? 2 words: get real. He’s not going to resign, and if the parties were reversed the Democrats would be closing ranks around him. It’s pathetic that it’s come to this, but the fact is that neither party is going to demand anyone resign from anywhere unless 1. The person can be easily replaced without a loss to the party, and 2. The person is no longer useful. That’s why Clinton fought being made to step down after his behavior with Monica Lewinsky was discovered. That’s why Joe is hanging on when it’s clear he’s not fit for office. That’s also why Al Franken got pushed out and why Andrew Cuomo was finally forced to resign. Both could easily be replaced by members of the same party, and both had outlived their usefulness to the party. That’s also when James Mcgreevey was outed as gay and exposed for some other dirty doings that he hung on for several weeks before stepping down, just long enough that a special election would not be triggered and a guaranteed successor from the same party could be appointed.

    Also, as you pointed out, the supreme Court does not have a code of ethics. Clarence Thomas has not done anything prohibited. If the court had a code of ethics, which it should, Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have been in trouble for opening her mouth to attack Donald Trump in 2016. However, it doesn’t have one, and at the time the Democrats hailed her as a heroine for “cashing in her legacy early to prevent a trump presidency.”.

    You may well be right that Thomas, who is also getting quite old at this point, should consider stepping down. Scalia should have stepped down long before he died in the saddle. Harry Blackmun should have stepped down long before he finally did. William O. Douglas was not only elderly but disabled by a stroke before he was finally persuaded, by Abe Fortas, the only other justice who considered him a friend and who he considered a friend, that it was time to hang it up. And, of course, Ruthie stayed on long past her pull date, in her 9th decade and with a body ravaged by cancer, before she finally gave up the ghost. All of these justices stayed on for one reason, they were afraid that if they left without a like-minded president in the White House to assure a like-minded successor, their legacies would disappear. That’s not how it should be, but how things are and how they should be are two different things.

    Impeachment? Again, in the best of all possible worlds, maybe. However, you and I both know that Kevin McCarthy isn’t going to bring articles of impeachment up for a vote, and a 2/3 vote in the Senate is not possible at this point. It would be an exercise in futility. Like all other scandals on both sides of the aisle, this is going to blow over, and Justice Thomas is going to keep his seat until either the next Republican president arrives, or he drops dead.

    • Steve. Come on. This is no longer a political issue. It is pure ethics. If you wouldn’t require Thomas to leave for this, what would require it, in your view? Robbing a bank? Taking a bribe to flip Roe v. Wade? Not only must he resign, he can’t vote on any cases going forward, because a 5-4 vote would have no legitimacy. He has thrown Dobbs into chaos.

      This was so stupid, no conservative should want to see Thomas continue. So Biden gets another Justice—OK, that’s the system. Thomas handed that to the Democrats. The GOP has to get in front of this, and if Thomas doesn’t resign, he’s an even bigger fool than this scandal indicates he is. Every day he stays, he looks worse. He will be gone by the end of next week, if not sooner. He’d better be.

      • Everything is now a political issue. From the shows on television to the books we read, from the bathrooms we use to the lightbulbs we buy, from the car we drive to the streets we drive them on, from the beer we drink to the sports games we watch while drinking it, EVERYTHING is now politics. Cow farts are politics. Fonts are politics. Vegetables are politics. Gas stoves are politics. Dogs are politics. Medicine is politics. Lawns are politics. Air is politics. There is not a single square inch of modern life that the politics parasite hasn’t worked it’s way into.

        • It’s only politics if we allow it to become so. We cannot allow mundane discussions to become Sovietized so that everything is filtered through the lens of a class struggle and there’s no room for other thought.

          If someone wants to make fonts political, they’re welcome to waste their time. We have got to stop skeet shooting these tiny balloons labeled “gas stoves” and other minor details and start defending the foundations of our fortress because the Left is firing all its guns at those foundations.

          • Sure, it’s stupid. Who cares about “racist” fonts? People can ignore it right up until they get fired for ignoring it. You can ignore the “racist” nature of streets right up until your house is seized under eminent domain and bulldozed to make a new, less racist street. You can ignore the bathroom nonsense right up until a rapist dressed as a woman uses the new laws to rape your daughter in the bathroom while the school board covers it up. You can ignore the whining about cow farts until your eating a steady diet or worms. You can ignore the gas stove debate until you have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to retrofit your house for an electric stove. You can ignore the racist nature of dogs until someone euthanizes your pet. You can ignore the light bulb arguments until you are paying thousands of dollars to light your home or reading by candlelight.

            The totalitarians are not going to let you ignore them. They have a pen and a phone, an army, and unlimited money printing capabilities to fund the persecution of people who try to ignore them. That is part of how they destroy the foundations. Send little creeping vines out in wave after wave until the foundation crumbles from beneath.

            Your participation in their ideology is not optional.

    • Yep. Leftist play book. They broke the system now they get the rewards. Hate to say it. But here’s how they’d handle it: were these direct payments? No? What’s the issue? How’s a vacation something you report? This is a nothingburger. Was the guy paying for vacations before the Supreme Court in a case? No? What’s the issue?

      The *only* reason this kind of crap isn’t published daily about Leftists everywhere is because they’ve run the game so long they know how to hide it and how to spin it.

  2. By the end of next week we will have all moved on to some other scandal. Thomas isn’t going anyplace. I get what you’re saying that this is purely an ethics issue, unfortunately, politics is part of it the same as it is part of everything else now. Can you honestly say that if the parties were reversed the same people baying for Thomas’s blood now wouldn’t be defending the accused tooth and nail? Politics shouldn’t be so infused into everything that a purely ethical issue can’t be a purely ethical issue, but that’s where we are now. Going forward, the role of the leadership should be to de-politicize things that don’t need to be political. However, you and I both know that’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen because at this point on both sides of the aisle, it’s all about power. It’s all about silencing the other side while you build your own side up to be untouchable. That’s why the accused from January 6th are all being severely punished while the folks from summer 2020 are getting away mostly with slaps on the wrist. That’s why Donald Trump is defending against a bullshit, cobbled together indictment in The bluest of blue counties where he can’t possibly get a fair trial. That’s why the Ukraine is being treated as though it is as important as WW2. That’s also why they are pushing electric vehicles and electric everything, so that theoretically they can shut you off and take away your mobility while making your life miserable. That’s also why they’re looking the other way on or out and out justifying transgender violence against anyone who dares to challenge the latest pronouncement from on high.

    If we keep playing nice, we won’t be around to play. You having second thoughts about forming that vendetta ride yet?

    • “Can you honestly say that if the parties were reversed the same people baying for Thomas’s blood now wouldn’t be defending the accused tooth and nail?”

      No, but that’s not the standard. This is cut and dried, black and white, life and death for SCOTUS. It cannot exist if Thomas remains. Most of the attacks on its legitimacy of late have been unfair, but with this, it will have no credibility at all if Thomas doesn’t act—and give a damn good apology speech.

      I think you are seriously under-estimating how bad this is.

      • With respect, I think you might be over-estimating, and the media is making damn sure everyone overestimates. The man has been on the Court 31 years. He’s near the upper limit of his life expectancy. If anyone was going to try to influence him, it’s been done already or it can’t be done.

        • In this case, everything the news media is saying—and I don’t think its made a big enough deal about it yet—is justified. Jeez, Steve, you know how many rationalizations you’ve thrown at this already?

          • It’s already off the front page. The problem is the media has cried wolf so many times that no one cares now, when they actually should.

            • Again, irrelevant, and a rationalization: “Nobody cares.” It’s off the front page because 1) journalists are morons and 2) their current obsession is the Tennessee Democrats who joined an “insurrection” being punished by the Republicans.

  3. Biden may get a liberal Justice but that simply makes the court slightly less conservative. With that said, every nominee Biden puts up should be vetted by a Republican inquisition to such a degree that the nominee will rue the day he or she was appointed. We have seen the quality of candidates and actions of those Biden has nominated and every nominee from this point forward should have to weather a violent storm of inquiry into their lives, associates, and family by Republican Senators. We need no more Merrick Garland’s, cross dressing luggage thieves, asleep at the wheel transportation secretaries, or Fed Chairpersons who monetize the debt for the government driving up interest rates for consumers to choke off inflation while continuing to print more money for the government to dole out like candy.

    If the Republicans do as Jack believes is the ethical and correct thing to do, then they will hold the club to demand sanctions for every ethics breach by the other more liberal Justices.

    It is a sad day for Justice Thomas and America.

    • Slightly less nothing. We need that sixth conservative Justice to keep chief justice Roberts from being the swing vote give the liberals what they want. We worked too hard and too long for this to give it up.

      • Steve, I know in my gut that I agree with you in every way on this matter. I was simply trying to make a silk purse out of sow’s ear if that is the best we can do. I will not lose sleep over this if he does not resign because I lost faith in our judicial system over the last few years, and it had nothing to do with vacations or other perks. Merrick Garland is the poster boy for partisan justice and Judge Sullivan who would not allow the state to drop a case against Flynn demonstrates that fact when the progressives want something they can judge shop to ensure victory. The judge overseeing the Trump indictment is a big donor to the DNC. In my mind Thomas simply balances the system.

        Until it can be shown that he was bought and paid for a particular vote I suggest that the DC area judges who are denying bail to those languishing in the DC jail and waiting over two years for a trial are better candidates for impeachment.

  4. So, this guy Crow is the Crow of Trammel Crow? The commercial real estate brokerage firm? I’ve always loved the fact that the Dallas area’s civic leadership and charitable fundraising group is called “The Salesman’s Club.”

  5. I’ll just observe that Richard Nixon vacationed on Key Biscayne in the home of Bebe Rebozo. The Clintons and Obamas vacationed in the luxurious homes of various people in Hawaii and on Martha’s Vineyard (until they’d grifted enough money to buy their own mansions in Westchester County or Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii). These vacations were all well publicized, so they didn’t really need to be shown on any filings (or maybe they were duly reported). But did the fact these treats were made public somehow mysteriously reduce the access the housing donors had to these public figures? If we’re genuinely concerned about this sort of purchased access, every president should be restricted to vacationing at Camp David and all federal judges should be confined to their homes (which is pretty much what a federal judge I know has done). Maybe not a bad idea.

    • Other Bill,

      Those are not analogous examples.

      You have identified 3 Presidents.

      Presidents are inherently political. Access is not inherently a bad thing. Presidents, unlike Judges, are not expected to be impartial.

      Presidents have a limited number of terms and can be voted out of office.

      Federal Judge appointments are for life.


      • You’re right, Jut. Absolutely. You’d think a federal judge would be more than happy to live off their generous guaranteed for life salary and their guaranteed staffed office and a job that vests them with lots and lots of power. But they’re human, like politicians. Recall Hillary Clinton hanging out with all her contemporaries from Wellesley and Yale who went to work on Wall Street or in industry and became fabulously wealthy. Hillary clearly thought, “Hey, I’ve given my life to public service. I deserve the kind of riches these people are splashing around in. I deserve all the money I’m sucking out of my foundation! Wink. Wink.” Or look at the fortune Joe Biden has amassed. I’m just not sure we can expect Federal judges to take vows of poverty. Interesting that Ann Althouse simply states that the Supremes have no code of ethics, therefore, no problem.

        • And I brought up Nixon and the Clintons and Obamas because that’s the D.C. milieu. It’s a phenomenon that’s come into existence, certainly in my lifetime, from Nixon on. People inside and outside the swamp seem to have normalized it and gotten used to it.

      • And can’t we expect Supremes to hang out with likeminded people? RBG hung out with Nina Totenberg. No problem! They’re both lefties! Thomas hangs out with a commercial real estate brokerage titan who probably thinks the business of America is business. Is that a problem? I’d say Totenberg reporting on a good friend and getting inside dope as a reporter is probably not a good thing, as I believe Jack pointed out a while ago.

  6. It might be a purely ethical issue, but ethics died a long time ago in our political system. Politics is now everything and everything is an existential crisis.

    Actually, I am quite sick of our elitist rulers sucking up bribe money like massive sponges. I’m tired of people who influence peddle, whether it be to billionaires, international corporations, hostile foreign governments or super pacs. The insider trading, payoffs to family members, retreats and cushy jobs after leaving office to politicians who ignore their constituents in favor of wealthy money spigots disgusts me. If this were not the middle of the totalitarian takeover of our country I would agree that this was impeachable. Alas, someone told me yesterday that the only thing standing between the people and full blown totalitarianism is the court system. I’m not supporting anything that would obliterate that last barrier. The totalitarians can go suck a rotten egg while they swim around in their Scrooge McDuck pools of monetary hypocrisy and pretend to be outraged at behavior they participate in on a daily basis. I’m not going to pretend that the US has standards. It doesn’t. Unless that standard is hypocrisy which seems to be available in spades.

  7. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, and I hate that we’ve gotten to this point, but I don’t care and hell no to him resigning and giving Biden & co. a free/cheap SCOUS spot.

    I would care a lot more if entities like ProPublica ever looked into Dems/lefties, or at least ones whose resignation would hurt the Dems/left. Have they looked into Biden family’s shenanigans?

    • I agree he should resign. However, only if the rest of the federal government is held to account for similar corruption. Yes, that is a King’s Pass breach. I expect you there are similar, if not even more deplorable (heh) examples on the other side of the political divide. I cannot support an action that will contribute to even more movement towards a totalitarian state. Your mileage may vary, I am not a saint, nor am I a blind follower of the Right. Your mileage may vary and be glad you and I can still safely disagree in public.

      • “I expect there are similar, if not even more deplorable (heh) examples on the other side of the political divide.”

        On SCOTUS? Absolutely not. As ProPublica said, this is unprecedented.

        • I would say that the Dobbs leak is on par with this. Money is not the only coin of the realm. No one was held accountable for that which gave the left an advantage of more time to beat the drum of abortion going into the mid-terms.

          My example has had a demonstrable outcome while the issue of Thomas is less certain. The deification of Justice Ginsberg by the left could be construed as psychic income in which one becomes beholden to another because the ego is unwilling to risk losing any of the support she received from those who elevated her to God-like status.

          I would point out that the estimated cost of $1/2mm to duplicate the vacation is for the entire group not just for the Thomas’s. This is hyperbole to make the Justice look worse. Adding 2 guests to that large entourage probably adds very little given the large, fixed costs associated with assets involved in delivering such a vacation.

          Not that this matters in terms of ethics but if we are going to publish an estimated value of what he received then it stands to reason that the ethical way of reporting it should reflect the marginal costs of adding two persons on the trip. I happen to know that a 9-day liveaboard cruise in Indonesia that includes multiple stewards, private chef’s and unlimited diving with airfare costs about $6,000-7,500 leaving from IAD.

  8. Yeah, as much as I hate to write it, Justice Thomas should resign.

    At some point, the right side of politics has to stand up and say, “Even if the Left won’t follow the law, even if the Left won’t be ethical, even if the Left won’t police itself unless it can grandstand by doing so, even if the Left only replaces rotten left-wing apples when they can be replaced with less-rotten left-wing apples, even if it hurts my party, even if it gives totalitarians additional power they shouldn’t have, even if it costs me something personally, we will do the right thing, the ethical thing, the noble thing.”

    If the Right operates the same way as the Left, then the Right is no better than the Left, regardless of what outcome we get. The ends now justifies the means for the Right, too. Someone has to take the first, very painful step, and the Left won’t do it.

      • In a war, do you go Code Pink and disarm? And I know, this is a rationalization: “These are not normal times.” I’m just torn on this.

        • I see it more as:

          I’m in a war. Do I fight by the rules of the Geneva Convention even if the other side doesn’t?

          …and even that’s not a great answer. In a war, if one side escalates to non-conventional weapons, usually the other side justifies its own escalation. Is that still just “desperate times…” rationalizations?

          Sigh…Justice Thomas, why?

          • A better question would be whether in a war you do the other side’s dirty work for them. Do I even need to ask that question? Maybe after the war you call questionable actions to account, but not during.

            • We need a treatise from Jack on the ethics of war. It might seem that in a war, the objective is to win at all costs.
              In a related vein, at least to me, a cop engaged in physical combat with a “bad guy” has to win. To say he can’t use a “choke hold” makes no more sense than requiring him to have one hand behind his back. The absolutely critical thing is to specify or codify exactly what a “bad guy” is.
              Can we ask Harry Reid if Thomas should resign? Oh wait…

  9. Is there a double standard? Yes. Has the Left been gunning for Thomas since his confirmation hearing? Yes. Have they ramped up their attacks on him in the last year? Absolutely. Would they take advantage of a court vacancy to put someone on the bench who would push their agenda? No doubt, whatsoever.

    But here we are.

    As a Christian and a Sunday School teacher, I don’t get the same leeway that others do. If I mess up, it’s going to be noticed. There will be people who will point to me and label anyone who believes the way I do with the same broad paint brush they always use to label people like me. It’s unfair. I’m not perfect. I don’t claim to be.

    But there it is anyway. I know I will be expected to be spotless because there’s an enemy out there ready to fool the world into thinking that my human flaws are sufficient to destroy the credibility of an entire belief system.

    That means that I have to be aboveboard in everything. It means I can’t vent steam at work when something goes wrong. It means I can’t watch a show on a streaming service using someone else’s account. It means I have to watch what movies I go see and which ones I talk about in front of certain people.

    The build-up to the complete meltdown by the Democratic Party has been going on with little abatement for the past 30 years. It’s sped up for the last 6 years as its adherents continue to muddle issues and fail to hold its own fellow-travelers to the same standards it holds its opponents. Donald Trump has failed to learn this but he is hardly the only one.

    If you are a conservative, especially a conservative in political office, you MUST double check every line of your taxes, make sure everyone who works for your campaign down to flyer distribution volunteers is pure as the driven snow and triple vet your associates so that that you are never tied to anyone that will raise even the appearance of impropriety.

    Justice Thomas has known for decades that there were people after him. It was his responsibility to do better. Until we hold our officials – elected or otherwise – to a higher standard, it will only get worse.

    • Except increasingly as the Left finds *every way* to destroy conservatives to the point that even breathing is a condemnable offense – it will become ever necessary for Conservatives to stop trying to be perfect and simply say “screw you, I’m going to keep doing this”.

  10. To be sure I understand: He goes on vacation WITH a long-time friend (and other friends), using the wealthy friend’s transportation? The friend has no issues before the court?

    Could he attend an annual Christmas dinner hosted by the friend at a fancy restaurant? Is it mostly a matter of scale? At what level of social engagement is a justice precluded from participating with good friends? Can’t a justice recuse himself from any cases that might come up where he has a personal connection?

    • Thomas’ mistake is being a black conservative and having friends.

      Leftists are smart – their friends donate vast sums or gift cool things to some shell charity or political cause and then the leftist takes the money or the cool thing from the charity or cause.

      It’s increasingly looking like this is…indeed…a nothingburger based on how much Propublicca is stretching to make a vacation involving a dozen people somehow all Clarence Thomas’ benefit.

      • Ugh. Paying for someone’s vacation is a GIFT by any definition. Paying for a SCOTUS justice’s vacations when you have a political interest in those decisions looks fishy, hence the “appearance of impropriety.” At this time ESPECIALLY, the Court cannot afford such suspicions. It’s no “nothingburger.”

        • Is it income? I mean, I’ve done vacations with friends before and they’ve paid some of it. Do I need to claim that as income? I’ve paid some of theirs before too… should they claim that?

          Did his friend have a case before the court?

        • I get your despair at the conservative half of the aisle here shrugging this off. As far as I’m concerned, if this as bad as some leftists advocacy group has spun it to be, then yeah, it’ll besmirch SCOTUS. But in the grander scheme of things – this nation will survive a judge who went on vacation with his friends and didn’t report the value of the vacation.

          The nation *WILL NOT* continue to survive the non-stop onslaught that Democrat governance has put against it. We just came out of an epidemic in which a full *HALF* of the governing body voiced a willingness to separate children from parents who even remotely questioned vaccine mandates, half the electorate didn’t mind physically harming those who disagreed. They used the epidemic as a cover to engage in a direct assault against a president they have hated since day one.

          They have colluded since day one with the mainstream media to undermine him at every turn. There is not one thing the democrats have done in the past 12 years that hasn’t been actively and openly in pursuit of a one party rule of a banana republic.

          Yeah, if Thomas’ vacation is a problem…I’ll live with it if it staves off the democrats getting their totalitarian claws further into the system in pursuit of destroying the system.

          Ethics Accounting does eventually become a valid system of analysis even if it isn’t universally applicable.

          • “ We just came out of an epidemic in which a full *HALF* of the governing body voiced a willingness to separate children from parents who even remotely questioned vaccine mandates, half the electorate didn’t mind physically harming those who disagreed.”

            Source for these claims?

            • Much like you don’t pay attention to most of the people’s comments on this blog, it stands to reason you didn’t pay much attention to the past 4 years of hyperbolic behavior from the left.

              • Ok, so you don’t have a source for either of these extraordinary claims.

                I paid a lot of attention during the pandemic, and I never saw anyone of influence in the Democratic Party arguing that questioning vaccine mandates should be reason for the state to take children away, nor did I see anyone of influence in the Democratic Party advocate physical harm on that basis.

                If these really were things advocated by “half the electorate,” it shouldn’t be hard for you to produce examples.

                But you can’t, since there are none, and you should admit that it’s you being “hyperbolic” here, not “the left.”

            • Paul Revere: “THE BRITISH ARE COMING!!! THE BRITISH ARE COMING!!!!”

              bleary-eyed ‘Seriously?’ pokes his head out of his cottage: “Do you have a source for this claim?”

              • That’s actually a really good analogy because Paul Revere saying “The British are coming,” like your claims of Democrats favoring child separation and physical harm due to disagreement with vaccine mandates, never happened.

                  • You made a bad faith accusation when you falsely accused half the electorate of supporting family separation and physical violence based on questioning vaccine mandates.

                    You’re deflecting to a minor point now because you know you have no evidence for this false claim.

                    Ignore me all you want, but let’s be clear about why you are really going to do so.

          • I will quote from Jack.


            In May of 2020, my conclusion regarding what we should have done about the pandemic is exactly the same as it is today. The only difference is that my resolution was politically and logically impossible in May of 2020, and thus not ethical. (What is impossible isn’t ethical, it’s just ethics static).

            (emphasis added)

            It appears that Jack’s proposed resolution in this post is politically and logically impossible today.

            • Again, if all it takes to accomplish something is for a single individual to decide to do it, amd there are no catastrophic consequences facing the doer, it isn’t logically or politically impossible.

        • To me, there’s a difference between socializing, even expensive socializing, with like-minded individuals, and accepting an actual uber-expensive “gift” with no apparent justification, especially if there’s no quid pro quo even hinted at with the former. That’s why I emphasized “WITH” in the previous comment. I don’t consider it a gift if I take friends to our vacation property, or if we accept similar invitations.

  11. I will remind you of what you wroter in a post apologizing to me.

    The only difference is that my resolution was politically and logically impossible in May of 2020, and thus not ethical. (What is impossible isn’t ethical, it’s just ethics static).

    (emphasis added)

    This is what we let the virus do to us. I knew that it was the wrong course, but I also knew, given the erosion and rot in the American spirit, that no other course was possible.

    That’s why I never finished the post, Michael.

    I’m sorry.

    (emphasis added)

    Thomas’s resignation is not “politically and logically impossible”, and thus can not be ethical.

  12. Apparently the rule (until a month or so ago) was that he didn’t have to report taking trips or receiving hospitality with close, personal friends.

    Under the rules that existed until recently, he may not have been required to report anything.

  13. Ethically speaking, what Justice Tomas has done looks bad, really bad.

    That said; I want someone with more legal knowledge and clout than I have (which is none) to look back at Justice Thomas’ opinions on the court and behavior on the court and see if they can find any appearances of unethical judicial behaviors on the bench that could possibly be related to this unethical behavior outside of the bench.

    Does this matter, yes it matters at least to me.

  14. I have to agree. When’s the last time a powerful and useful Democrat stepped down for something that should have resulted in him having to step down? Bill Clinton not only lied, he lied under oath. That’s not just a lie, it’s a crime. Did he even consider stepping aside? No. Never mind the fact that after that he was exposed as a liar and could not be seriously believed. Never mind the fact that it was obvious he committed an act that would have landed a lesser person in jail. But hey, he was in favor of abortion and he claimed to be in favor of women’s rights, so what’s a little perjury? Arguably he did more damage than Thomas did. In fact, if he had been kicked out of office for that crime maybe we wouldn’t be here. However, the culture started to agree with the idea that character didn’t count and that what people did behind closed doors didn’t matter and in fact anyone who looked into it or voiced an objection was just being uptight and needed to be more like the Europeans, who look the other way on minor misconduct all the time.

    I said this once and I’ll say it again, one more time only, because if I have to say it multiple times people will accuse me of getting repetitious, the left does not get to bring down powerful figures on the other side nor does the left get to have the other side do its dirty work for it when it does not do, has not done, and will never do the same. I will not be lectured about morals or ethics by hypocrites who twist themselves up into logical pretzels to defend their own. We get it. It’s transparent. The left wants the only two rights in this country to be the right to get an abortion and the right to ask permission to do anything else. To do that, they are willing to do whatever it takes, no matter who it hurts, who it kills, or who it destroys. If you’re not with them, you are a racist woman hater and you must be destroyed.

    What else is it going to take for the right to see the left for what it is and to take appropriate action? I don’t want this country to have another civil war, but if that’s what it takes to stop this totalitarian overreach, then sign me up, I’ll get my frock coat, my kepi, and my musket.

  15. I agree with you. It doesn’t matter what your opponents do. The ethical make ethical decisions regardless of what those around them do. Maybe that’s why no one likes them.

    Anyway, Johnthan Turley seems to disagree. I don’t know how to do a tweet in this format, but here’s what he tweeted today:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promising articles of impeachment against Justice Clarence Thomas over the failure to disclose trips with a billionaire friend. There is no evidence that the failure to disclose was either an ethical or constitutional violation

      • That Jack is the best comment in this thread by anyone. He didn’t violate any rules so removing him would be unethical. What he did for years taints his presence but removal is out of the question. If he chooses to step down then that is his choice.

        • Ugh. Stop saying that. Officials have an obligation to resign when they disgrace their position, “rule” or not. The fact that they usually don’t is no justification. And there is a rule governing every judge in the country except for SCOTUS judges, because they are supposed to be so trustworthy that they don’t need rules, their integrity is supposed to be enough. Thomas proved his isn’t, thus he is not qualified to be on the Court.

  16. Last weekend, we were told, walking out of Palm Sunday, that we had to treat these palms with respect and keep them in our homes for the next year because they were blessed. I reacted with disgust, keep these silly leaves in our homes for a year when they will wither tomorrow and be a fire hazard? As I pointed out all my complaints to my husband, especially the one where nothing else that is blessed receives this much attention, he pointed out that everything I said was a rationalization. So I spent a great deal of time going over my list, and, sure enough, he is right. We were told how we are supposed to treat these dead fire hazards, and so if my integrity is to mean anything, no matter how I dislike the situation, I need to accept the authority that I claim to hold in such high regard, and do what it is that must be done, in this case, hang on to a bunch of disintegrating leaves for a whole stinking year.

    This morning’s revelation of the Clarence Thomas scandal found me in a similar position. I don’t want the left to get another supreme court pick. Frankly, everything about what they seem to hold dear is the disintegration of what I value about this nation. Do I think that Thomas got this investigation because they hoped to find something, much like Trump has had nearly every part of his life torn apart to find SOMETHING? Yes. Do I think that most other justices, congressmen, senators, and the President himself would have something that could be used to take them down if they received this level of scrutiny? Yes.

    More of my rationalizations come to the forefront. Will the Left EVER behave ethically? Hell no. We would never see them take down one of their own without a better option (by whatever crazy standard they have) in the wings. Is it right that there are rules for the Right that will NEVER be held to the Left? No! This is a horrible place to be, and I don’t want the ethical solution.

    But now I need to slow down and think. What of what I said changes the rules? What changes what Thomas has done? Do I hold integrity as a value of mine? I have said many times in the past that I want people to do what is right, even if it is inconvenient. Well, Sarah, it is damned inconvenient right now. What do I need, not want, to do? With that, knowing that I value my integrity more than I value even the United States of America, I must agree with you, Jack. Thomas must resign or be impeached, and as much as I am disgusted with the idea that Biden will get another Supreme Court pick that could destroy this nation for my future, and that of my children, I need to stand for what is right.

    Sometimes I hate being ethical, but here it is, a choice to be ethical or self-interested. Impeach Thomas.

    • So I wrote that, and then heard that the cost of the vacation would have been closer to $6,000 per person. I struggle with saying to impeach him now and am considering a take-back. $500,000 is one thing, $12,000 is another.

      Here is why. Please point out my rationalizations. So my husband makes just a bit above $100,000 in pre-tax money. Now, I often used to babysit for one of my friends for free (she also did for me, but if she had never sat for me, I’d still have sat for her). Her husband made a LOT less than mine. She had 3 kids, one of which was fully in diapers. For a day of babysitting for her kids, it would have cost her anywhere from $120 to 240 in our town. Even drop-in single day rates weren’t much cheaper and were very rarely available when she needed them. In addition, we invited the family over to our house for meals that, over a year were easily upwards of $300 for the incremental costs. We did this with no expectation of return, except time enjoyably spent together and friendship in time of need (emotional, not financial). So, assuming I sat twice a year (I sat more than that), we gifted that family with $540-780 of gifts. This doesn’t even count birthdays and Christmas, or any of the other things we paid for when we, as friends got together. This was 0.5-0.6% or so of our yearly gross income. For a billionaire, $12,000 isn’t even within that realm. If you had a gross income of 2,000,000 a year, this would be a similar sized gift to my inviting friends over for dinner and watching their kids.

      Please, Jack, point out my rationalizations and logical fallacies. I am struggling to see this as a problem, with the change in monetary value.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.