Virginia Lamp Thomas

Democrats Introduce Bill that Could Lead to Impeachment for Justices Thomas and Scalia

I’m not sure if Justices Scalia and Thomas can actually be impeached but the idea is intriguing nonetheless…

PoliticusUSA

On Thursday, a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed a law to establish a Code of Conduct  for the Supreme Court.

It’s surely to have Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Scalia quaking in their Tea Party boots because it would mean they would actually have to be independent of political and other influences. They would also have to have the appearance of independence.  They would have to stay away from political activity. That part would be really hard.

As it stands, this law would help guarantee that Supreme Court Justices are held to the same ethical standards we expect of other judges.

As Senator Blumenthal said:

This legislation’s goal is to preserve public trust and confidence – the lifeblood of the Supreme Court – after claims of questionable conduct by some Justices, No Justice, any more than a judge, should advance a partisan cause or sit on a case involving a personal friend or interest. There is no persuasive reason in law or logic why Supreme Court Justices should not be held to the same high standard as other federal judges.

The proposed law holds the Supreme Court to the same standards required of judges in the federal court system. Currently, Justices on the Supreme Court decide for themselves if they should recuse themselves from cases in which they may have a personal stake or in Thomas’ case, his wife has a political or financial stake as a holy roller in the Tea Party.

Justices Thomas and Scalia who attended a few partisan fundraisers also ruled in favor of the conservatives raising questions about their independence.  This was especially true in Citizens United because that ruling undid decades of established law.

Both of these actions violate the code of conduct already in place for Federal court judges.

We saw how well leaving Supreme court Justices to their own devices worked out when Justice Thomas ruled on the Affordable Care act, while his wife Ginni was  paid to lobby against the law.   The fact that Thomas “forgot” ,  to disclose Ginni’s income from lobbying against healthcare – even after she supposedly ceased lobbying against healthcare doesn’t help.  That would have been more than just an oops moment had there been a code of conduct for the Supreme Court. Thomas’  conflict of interest problems are not restricted to benefits to Ginni.

Questions about Thomas and Scalia’s judicial independence are nothing new.  We saw it when both Supreme Court Justices attended a  Koch Brothers fundraiser in 2010 and the Federalist Society fundraiser  they attended in 2011, Thomas’ failure to disclose the sources Ginni’s income for six years also came out in 2011.    A code of ethics for the Supreme Court is a bill whose time came a few years ago and has increasing importance given Ginni Thomas’s involvement with Groundswell.

As noted by Media Matters,

The recent Groundswell memoranda obtained by David Corn of Mother Jones reveal that these conflicts are getting worse.

Ginni Thomas was the founder and leader of Liberty Central, a political nonprofit “dedicated to opposing what she characterizes as the leftist ‘tyranny’ of President Obama and Democrats in Congress.” The group wasfunded by Harlan Crow, frequent patron of the Thomas’ projects and causes and a financial supporter of right-wing campaigns such as the “swift boat” attacks on then-presidential candidate John Kerry and the advertising push to confirm President George W. Bush’s Supreme Court nominees. Crow also serves on the board of the American Enterprise Institute, whose Edward Blum brought the two most recent attacks on the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action before the Supreme Court. Justice Thomas favored Blum’s positions against progressive precedent on both civil rights issues.

Had Federal Court judges been as ethically challenged  as Clarence Thomas, they would have been forced to resign. Considering that the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land, it seems the bar for ethical standards should be the same as those for lower courts – if not higher.

If the Supreme Court had a code of conduct, Thomas would have had to recuse himself on several cases in which his wife’s high profile within the Tea Party would scream of bias.  Had he failed to do so, there would be a legal basis with teeth to seek Thomas’ resignation.  For Thomas and Scalia defenders  tempted to question the constitutionality of holding Supreme Court Justices to ethics, Article 3 of the constitution says justices “shall hold their offices during good behaviour. If independence from pillow talk with a political lobbyist isn’t good behavior, I don’t know what is.

Let’s face it, if you are sleeping with someone within a political party whose agenda is to prevent certain classes of eligible voters from voting, the odds of forgetting that fact while considering the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act are zero – or at least it sure looks that way to any reasonable person.  The same holds true when you at least look like you might be having pillow talk with someone with a political stake in the Defense of Marriage Act.

One can point to Justice Kagan’s ethical standards as proof that Supreme Court Justices can and do take principles like judicial independence and the appearance of it seriously.  Then one is reminded of Justices Thomas and Scalia.

This law would address one of the many problems created by the sort of corruption that has become synonymous with the Republican Party and its puppet masters.  But then, that would mean doing something constructive and it would also mean that the separation of powers are in fact separate, rather than subject to pillow talk between one Supreme Court Justice and one member of the Groundswell propaganda alliance.

 

Is Ginni Thomas’ Expanding Activism a Problem for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas?

Rex Curry/ZumaPress Chris Zumma/ZumaPress

This issue was raised by then Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY).  Shortly after tweeting about the Thomas’ questionable political ties, his first round of infamous tweets became public.    Weiner tried to tell anyone that would listen that Thomas should not be on the bench.  Weiner and the late Andrew Breitbart got into a very public Twitter feud over the entire issue.

Just saying…

Mother Jones

Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is no ordinary Supreme Court spouse. Unlike Maureen Scalia, mother of nine, or the late Martin Ginsburg, mild-mannered tax law professor who was good in the kitchen, Thomas came from the world of bare-knuckled partisan politics. Over the years, she has enmeshed herself ever more deeply in the world of political advocacy—all the while creating a heap of conflict of interest concerns surrounding her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Her role in Groundswell, the coalition of conservatives waging a “30 front war” against progressives and the GOP establishment that was revealed by Mother Joneson Thursday, revives questions about the propriety of Thomas’ activism on issues that have or could become the subject of Supreme Court cases.

Conflict of interest issues were first aired during Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991, when critics argued that Ginni Thomas’ political work might compromise her husband’s objectivity. At that time, her political resume included stints as a Capitol Hill aide to a Republican congressman; a staffer at the US Chamber of Commerce, where she fought the Family and Medical Leave Act; and as a political appointee at the Labor Department during the first Bush administration. Thomas didn’t leave politics after her husband was confirmed. “I did not give up my First Amendment rights when my husband became a justice of the Supreme Court,” she has said in the past. She would later return to the Hill as a staffer to House majority leader Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas) and work for the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank. But in those jobs, Thomas kept a relatively low profile.

That changed around the same time that the tea party exploded in American politics, and Thomas became an outspoken member of the movement. In late 2009, Thomas founded the political advocacy group Liberty Central, which would later become a fierce player in the opposition to health care form. Detractors pointed out that Liberty Central was a potential vehicle for people with interests before the Supreme Court to make anonymous donations that might influence her husband.

The group was formed with a $500,000 anonymous donation that came as the Supreme Court was considering Citizens United, a case that ultimately resulted in loosening the restrictions on corporate giving to political campaigns. The anonymous donor was later revealed to be Harlan Crow, the Texas real estate developer. Crow was also a friend of Clarence Thomas’, and he was later linked to a scandal involving the justice’s failure to publicly disclose gifts from the developer and trips aboard his private jet. (It didn’t help that Justice Thomas had also failed to include his wife’s $150,000 annual salary from Liberty Central on his financial disclosure forms, which he later had to amend.) In January 2011, the good-government group Common Cause asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Justice Thomas should have recused himself from Citizens United based on his wife’s role at Liberty Central. (Common Cause also asked the IRS to revoke Liberty Central’s nonprofit status. Nothing came of either request.)

Continue here…

More Ethics Trouble for Clarence Thomas

Mother Jones

If Clarence Thomas was hoping that liberals might just forget about his cozy ties to a Dallas real estate developer, or his failure for a decade to disclose the hundreds of thousands of dollars his wife earned from a conservative think tank, well, he would be wrong. As President Obama’s health care reform bill gets closer and closer to a hearing before the high court, liberal groups are continuing to press for some sort of disciplinary action against Thomas, or at least to force him to recuse himself from hearing the health care case.

To that end, on Tuesday, the left-leaning Alliance for Justice and the good-government group Common Cause asked the Judicial Conference of the United States, which oversees the federal courts, to investigate whether Thomas violated the Ethics in Government Act. The groups allege that Thomas may have violated the act when he failed to disclose his wife Ginny Thomas’s compensation—upwards of $700,000—from the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.

The groups also are asking the Judicial Conference to investigate whether Thomas may have failed to report travel paid for by the Texas real estate developer Harlan Crowe, as reported by the New York Times. The Judicial Conference was holding its semi-annual meeting in DC this week when the advocacy groups sent their letter. If the Conference concludes that the allegations have merit, federal law requires that if it “has reasonable cause to believe has willfully falsified or willfully failed to file information required to be reported” it must refer the case to the attorney general. Common Cause president Bob Edgar said in a statement Tuesday:

In America, no one is above the law, including Supreme Court justices. For more than a decade, Justice Thomas omitted information about his wife’s income, clearly required by the Ethics in Government Act, from his annual financial disclosure report. Surely such a repeated violation, by someone entrusted to apply laws far more complex than the Ethics Act, at least deserves a formal review by the Judicial Conference and the Attorney General.

Odds are slim that even the Judicial Conference is going to ask Eric Holder to investigate Thomas. But you can’t really fault them for trying. Thomas’s lapses seem egregious enough for some higher authority to take a second look.

Unfortunately, thanks the the separation of powers doctrine, there really isn’t a higher authority when it comes to the Supreme Court. Some members of Congress are trying to change that. Also this week, the Alliance for Justice has been trying to rally support for congressional hearings on a bill introduced earlier this year that would force Supreme Court justices to be covered by the code of conduct that applies to other federal judges and create new procedures for when a justice may have to recuse from hearing a case. Given that virtually no Republicans have signed on, this law, too, has no hope of going anywhere, at least not any time soon. But the Democrats behind it get points for trying anyway.

Related articles

Thomas’ ethical problems in the spotlight

I, for one, will continue to keep this issue in the spotlight on this blog.   I still believe that it is the backstory of the Anthony Weiner fiasco that everyone including, nay, especially the main stream media, ignored.

As an Anthony Weiner advocate (I used to live in Queens, but not in his district, so there is an inherent affinity for Weiner, as a native son.  Aside from the geographical connection, former Rep. Anthony Weiner and former Rep. Alan Grayson were the most outspoken and passionate supporters for their constituents and for the masses of people disenfranchised by GOP policies. 

Can anyone see a correlation here or am I just wearing my tin-foil hat too tightly?

Daily Kos

The New York Times’ report this weekend highlighted just one of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s problems with ethics.

[Justice Clarence Thomas and real estate magnate Harlan Crow] met in the mid-1990s, a few years after Justice Thomas joined the court. Since then, Mr. Crow has done many favors for the justice and his wife, Virginia, helping finance a Savannah library project dedicated to Justice Thomas, presenting him with a Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass and reportedly providing $500,000 for Ms. Thomas to start a Tea Party-related group. They have also spent time together at gatherings of prominent Republicans and businesspeople at Mr. Crow’s Adirondacks estate and his camp in East Texas.In several instances, news reports of Mr. Crow’s largess provoked controversy and questions, adding fuel to a rising debate about Supreme Court ethics. But Mr. Crow’s financing of the museum, his largest such act of generosity, previously unreported, raises the sharpest questions yet — both about Justice Thomas’s extrajudicial activities and about the extent to which the justices should remain exempt from the code of conduct for federal judges.

This is just one in a growing list of ethical problems for Thomas:

Unethical Fundraising: The Code of Conduct does not allow judges to “personally participate in fund-raising  activities,  solicit funds for any organization, or use or permit the  use of the  prestige of judicial office for that purpose,” except in  very limited circumstances. Yet Justice Thomas attended a Koch-sponsored political fundraiser intended to fund the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks and media outlets. This attendance is technically legal, because of the justices exemption from the Code of Conduct, but the justices claim that they have long followed a policy of “look[ing] to the Code of Conduct for guidance”  in determining when they may participate in fundraising activities.Failure to Disclose: Federal judges and justices are required by law to disclose their spouse’s income — thus preventing persons who wish to   influence the judge or justice from funneling money to them through   their husband or wife. Nevertheless, Thomas falsely claimed that his  wife Ginni — a lobbyist and high-earning member of the professional right — earned no non-investment income whatsoever while she was working at  the right-wing Heritage Foundation. When asked to explain this error,  Thomas — who is one of the nine people responsible for issuing binding  interpretations of the nation’s founding document — claimed that he “misunderst[ood] the filing instructions.”

Potential Conflict of Interest: Ginni Thomas used to lead an organization that vigorously opposes the Affordable Care Act, and she even briefly signed a memo calling that Act unconstitutional. Ginni also may be earning lobbying fees for working to have this Act repealed. A team of conservative lawyers recently argued that such activities by a judge’s spouse requires the judge to recuse from the lawsuits challenging the ACA, but a defiant speech Thomas gave to the conservative Federalist Society leaves little doubt that he will not recuse.

A Financial Stake in His Own Decisions?: Ginni Thomas may also be getting rich off of her husband’s vote in the infamous Citizens United decision — which freed corporations to spend billions of dollars to buy U.S.  elections. Ginni’s new lobbying firm “offers advice on optimizing  political investments for charitable giving in the non-profit world or political causes,” a line of work which has obviously become much more  lucrative since Citizens United.

Continue reading here…

Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Letter to Justice Thomas

When I wrote an article recently, which implied that Anthony Weiner’s trouble with the media may have started out due to his sharp focus on Justice  Clarence Thomas’ ethics problems, many people seemed to scoff at the notion that Weiner’s problems may have been retaliation for him exposing Justice Thomas.

A Letter from Congressman Anthony Weiner

In February, 2011, armed with all these concerns, and anticipating the release of Thomas’ 2010 financial disclosure forms that would reveal Ginni Thomas’ Liberty Central income for the first time, a Congressman drafted a letter that was co-signed by 74 members of Congress, taking the issue of recusal and conflicts of interest directly to Clarence Thomas’ door.

Dear Justice Thomas:

As an Associate Justice, you are entrusted with the responsibility to exercise the highest degree of discretion and impartiality when deciding a case. As Members of Congress, we were surprised by recent revelations of your financial ties to leading organizations dedicated to lobbying against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We write today to respectfully ask that you maintain the integrity of this court and recuse yourself from any deliberations on the constitutionality of this act.

The appearance of a conflict of interest merits recusal under federal law. From what we have already seen, the line between your impartiality and you and your wife’s financial stake in the overturn of healthcare reform is blurred. Your spouse is advertising herself as a lobbyist who has “experience and connections” and appeals to clients who want a particular decision – they want to overturn health care reform. Moreover, your failure to disclose Ginny Thomas’s receipt of $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, a prominent opponent of healthcare reform, between 2003 and 2007 has raised great concern.

This is not the first case where your impartiality was in question. As Common Cause points out, you “participated in secretive political strategy sessions, perhaps while the case was pending, with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the [5-4] decision” on the Citizens United case. Your spouse also received an undisclosed salary paid for by undisclosed donors as CEO of Liberty Central, a 501(c)(4) organization that stood to benefit from the decision and played an active role in the 2010 elections.

Given these facts, there is a strong conflict between the Thomas household’s financial gain through your spouse’s activities and your role as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. We urge you to recuse yourself from this case. If the US Supreme Court’s decision is to be viewed as legitimate by the American people, this is the only correct path.

We appreciate your thoughtful consideration of this request.

Sincerely,
ANTHONY D. WEINER

Weiner followed this letter up with the Conflicted Clarence Thomas campaign, highlighting Thomas’ conflicts due to Ginni’s work and income, collecting signatures from citizens who shared his outrage, and making life very uncomfortable for Thomas and his die-hard supporters.

H/t: Angry Black Lady – Please read her extensive article on this topic entitled:  Clarence Thomas – The Original #Weinergate

Justice Thomas Caught Up In Yet Another Ethical Tangle

Anthony Weiner’s last tweets before his political enemies decided to ‘take him down on Twitter’ seemingly had more red meat than anticipated. 

There is a back story in the Anthony Weiner fiasco that the media refused to acknowledge and that is:  the Justice Clarence Thomas ethics violations.  

Weiner was trying to bring the issue out in the open, but was side tracked with his own ethics issues…albeit a matter of personal behavior.  I won’t re-litigate the Weiner “scandal”, but I will say that he was on point in trying to reveal Ginni and Clarence Thomas’ ethics issues.  After all, Thomas is a Supreme Court Justice.

Will the media start paying attention now that the powers that be who wanted to see Rep. Weiner gone have moved on to other things?  Will the media finally do their job?

Here are Rep. Weiner’s last tweets on Justice Thomas just before all hell broke out for Weiner and Thomas went on with his ethically challenged life…

Lets review : for more than a decade #ConflictedClarenceThomas forgot nearly $800k on his filings. 4:43 PM May 27th via TweetDeck

Spouse of #ConflictedClarenceThomas has every right to work for whomever, but he must recuse himself. 4:33 PM May 27th via TweetDeck

For the first time #ConflictedClarenceThomas admits his spouse words for tea party org. 4:31 PM May 27th via TweetDeck

http://scr.bi/mwJ4IG #ConflictedClarenceThomas dumps his conflicts forms on friday before memorial day. #AhFreshAir 4:27 PM May 27th via TweetDeck

Think Progress

The New York Times reports on Justice Clarence Thomas’ longstanding — and highly fruitful — relationship with a leading conservative donor named Harlan Crow. Crow has donated nearly $5 million to Republican candidates and conservative organizations, including $100,000 to the anti-John Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — and he has also been very generous to the Thomas family:

The two men met in the mid-1990s, a few years after Justice Thomas joined the court. Since then, Mr. Crow has done many favors for the justice and his wife, Virginia, helping finance a Savannah library project dedicated to Justice Thomas, presenting him with a Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass and reportedly providing $500,000 for Ms. Thomas to start a Tea Party-related group. They have also spent time together at gatherings of prominent Republicans and businesspeople at Mr. Crow’s Adirondacks estate and his camp in East Texas. [...]

Mr. Crow has not personally been a party to Supreme Court litigation, but his companies have been involved in federal court cases, including four that went to the appellate level. And he has served on the boards of two conservative organizations involved in filing supporting briefs in cases before the Supreme Court. One of them, the American Enterprise Institute, with Mr. Crow as a trustee, gave Justice Thomas a bust of Lincoln valued at $15,000 and praised his jurisprudence at an awards gala in 2001.

As the Times‘ article details, Crow also donated $1.3 million to help set up a museum that Thomas has been heavily involved in creating — an arrangement that could violate the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges if it wasn’t for the fact that the Supreme Court has exempted itself from this Code.

Sadly, Thomas’ relationship with Crow — and the even more troubling fact that he received a $15,000 gift from an organization that frequently files briefs before his Court — is merely the most recent example of many ethically questionable actions by Justice Thomas:

Unethical Fundraising: The Code of Conduct does not allow judges to “personally participate in fund-raising activities, solicit funds for any organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of judicial office for that purpose,” except in very limited circumstances. Yet Justice Thomas attended a Koch-sponsored political fundraiser intended to fund the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks and media outlets. This attendance is technically legal, because of the justices exemption from the Code of Conduct, but the justices claim that they have long followed a policy of “look[ing] to the Code of Conduct for guidance” in determining when they may participate in fundraising activities.

Failure to Disclose: Federal judges and justices are required by law to disclose their spouse’s income — thus preventing persons who wish to influence the judge or justice from funneling money to them through their husband or wife. Nevertheless, Thomas falsely claimed that his wife Ginni — a lobbyist and high-earning member of the professional right — earned no non-investment income whatsoever while she was working at the right-wing Heritage Foundation. When asked to explain this error, Thomas — who is one of the nine people responsible for issuing binding interpretations of the nation’s founding document — claimed that he “misunderst[ood] the filing instructions.”

Potential Conflict of Interest: Ginni Thomas used to lead an organization that vigorously opposes the Affordable Care Act, and she even briefly signed a memo calling that Act unconstitutional. Ginni also may be earning lobbying fees for working to have this Act repealed. A team of conservative lawyers recently argued that such activities by a judge’s spouse requires the judge to recuse from the lawsuits challenging the ACA, but a defiant speech Thomas gave to the conservative Federalist Society leaves little doubt that he will not recuse.

A Financial Stake in His Own Decisions?: Ginni Thomas may also be getting rich off of her husband’s vote in the infamous Citizens United decision — which freed corporations to spend billions of dollars to buy U.S. elections. Ginni’s new lobbying firm “offers advice on optimizing political investments for charitable giving in the non-profit world or political causes,” a line of work which has obviously become much more lucrative since Citizens United.

Any one of these instances would be troubling, but the fact that one justice has managed to accrue such a list is deeply disturbing and raises serious questions about what else Thomas might be hiding.

Is Weiner Scandal Retaliation From Clarence Thomas?

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been following the Rep. Anthony Weiner hoopla since last Friday.

I’ve asked myself the same question, is the Weiner scandal retaliation from the Clarance Thomas issue which Rep. Weiner exposed

Just before the faux scandal  about Weiner broke out on May 27th, Weiner had been tweeting  about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ possible  ethics violations on his tax returns.

News One

As Rep. Anthony Weiner’s alleged crotch-shot dominates the news, information on possible motives to deface Weiner’s credibility are surfacing under the radar. And as it appears, Weinergate just might be a smear campaign executed by  conservative activists looking to defend Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

For months, Rep. Weiner has prompted Thomas to disclose the money his wife, Virginia Thomas made working for Liberty Central, a political organization that has openly opposed President Obama’s health care reform agenda. According to Weiner, Mrs. Thomas’ political affiliations put the justice’s impartiality on the bench in question.

Details of Virginia Thomas’ salary and other payments were disclosed Friday night as the press and most Americans prepared for the Memorial Day weekend.

The timing of Thomas’ disclosure quickly became ammunition for Weiner, who made it a point to shed light on the hush-hush disclosure via twitter, hurling numerous tweets at  #ConflictedClarenceThomas.

The tweets read:

“Pretty crazy that the Scout does a pre memorial day Friday dumping of its financial disclosure forms. #ButImOnTheCase”

“#ConflictedClarenceThomas dumps his conflicts forms on Friday before memorial day. #AhFreshAir”

“Spouse of #ConflictedClarenceThomas has every right to work for whomever, but he must recuse himself.”

A day after Weiner waged his assault, political pundit Anthony Breitbart broke a story on his site Big Government of a lewd picture sent to a 21-year-old college co-ed from Weiner’s Twitter account. The picture of an unidentified crotch, was sent to Breitbart from Twitter user @patriotusa76 as a screenshot, which @patriotusa76 said he captured reading Weiner’s feed moments before the tweet was deleted.

Breitbart ran with the photo and the story took off, while  Thomas’ disclosure became an after thought. Weiner defended himself by claiming his Twitter account was hacked, but his claims have yet to be substantiated.

As a result, pundits and conspiracy theorist are probing deep into the coincidence. The liberal website The Daily Kos published a story with evidence they claim proves Weinergate is a conservative-led smear campaign.

UPDATE:

Rep. Weiner’s Wife, Huma Abedin Not Worried About Infidelity

NEW YORK– Huma Abedin, Rep. Anthony Weiner’s wife isn’t worried about infidelity after the news of a lewd picture of his crotch was sent to a 21-year-old college student via Twitter, according to friend a of Abedin. 

“She’s not worried about infidelity,” said her friend. “She’s confident and comfortable in her marriage.”

Abedin, a former deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, married Weiner in July 2010.

Virginia Thomas builds tea party network

I wonder if the Senate, while going through the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees, has ever ordered psychological testing for those nominees. 

I know they can’t order the examinations on the nominee’s spouse, but I swear, regarding “Uncle” Clarence and Ginni Thomas, there’s a case to be made for mandatory psych evaluations of SCOTUS nominees…

Politico

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Virginia “Ginni” Thomas has a new job in conservative journalism that keeps her involved with the recent focus of her political activism and business dealings – the tea party movement.

As a part-time special correspondent for the Daily Caller, Thomas plans to tap into the movement, according to emails sent this month to top tea party organizers around the country, to build a list of “leaders from the grassroots in each state … who have their ear to the ground” and are willing to be surveyed weekly by two “prominent pollsters.” The results will be published on the Daily Caller website.

Thomas’s involvement with the tea party and the conservative movement in general has been a continuing source of controversy both for her and her husband.

Ginni Thomas’s 2009 creation of a tea party non-profit group for which she raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed contributions, as well as her subsequent creation of a tea party consulting firm last year, has become the basis for allegations by some liberals that her husband’s impartiality has been compromised.

And her attendance at an annual summit of major conservative donors organized by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch – revealed in a recent speech by a federal judge and Thomas family ally – can be expected to draw even more scrutiny.

In remarks prepared for delivery last month to the San Francisco branch of the conservative Federalist Society, Laurence Silberman, a senior judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, blasted critics of the Thomases as “hypocrites” pushing “phony concerns” about judicial ethics, while ignoring real ones and getting their facts wrong.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53059.html#ixzz1JM7R76V6

 

Virginia Thomas in New Role at Liberty Central, Says Call to Anita Hill Was “Probably a Mistake”

Gee…ya think Mrs. Thomas?

The BLT – The Blog Of Legal Times

Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, announced today she will serve as a consultant to a new organization created by an alliance between Liberty Central, the conservative advocacy group she created earlier this year, and the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty. The Patrick Henry Center’s longtime president Gary Aldrich will head both organizations. A press release detailing the new arrangement can be found here (.pdf.)

Meanwhile, in an interview published today by The Daily Caller, Virginia Thomas said she resigned as leader of Liberty Central on Thursday. But she said it was “laughable” to suggest that her change in roles at the organization was the result of adverse publicity about an October phone call she made to Anita Hill, the woman who once accused Justice Thomas of sexually harassing her.  Virginia Thomas said the call was “a private matter,” but added, “it was probably a mistake on my part.”

Thomas’s leadership in the group had drawn criticism because her funding sources were not revealed, and because it was taking positions on issues — including the healthcare reform law — that could come before her husband as a justice. In the Daily Caller interview, she said that was not the reason for her change in positions. “There are no problems with me doing what I constitutionally can do as a U.S. citizen,” she said. “I didn’t lose my constitutional rights when I married a judge.” But she did say,“It’s better for the organization not to be centered around a personality.” She added that “if you look at any of the established conservative groups, it’s hard for them to pull away from some of their leaders.”

Continue reading here…

Why Clarence Thomas owes African-Americans an apology

The Grio

When Ginni Thomas — the Tea Partying wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — left Anita Hill a voicemail message asking for an apology, she got it all wrong. It’s really Clarence Thomas who owes the apology, to the black community that is.

During his confirmation hearings in 1991, America was introduced to Thomas. And his handlers and boosters created a Horatio Alger, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps story of a black man who emerged from a meager upbringing in Pinpoint, Georgia to become an embodiment of the American dream. We learned that he had Gullah roots. As someone with Gullah ancestry myself via Charleston, South Carolina, I must ask what happened to Thomas to make him run away from his people and forget from whence he came. Justice Thomas is part of the high court’s conservative majority (led by Justices Roberts and Scalia), and often is regarded as the most rightward judge among his peers. His record on the bench tells the story:

An originalist, Justice Thomas believes in the original intent of the framers of the Constitution. That is bad news for black folks, and presumably for Thomas as well, given that under that judicial philosophy, he and all other blacks should be in chains on someone’s plantation.     Continue reading…