Tag Archives: Clarence Thomas

Thomas fails integrity test

Clarence Thomas had the perfect opportunity today to do the right thing by recusing himself from a key hearing on the former POTUS’s standing in the 2024 campaign for president.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, didn’t recuse himself. He sat there with his colleagues and will take part in a ruling involving whether the ex-POTUS is eligible to run for office in accordance with the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

The conflict of interest is as clear as it gets.

Thomas’s wife, Virginia, is a member of the MAGA cult that embraces the rants of the 45th POTUS. She attended a gathering that developed on the D.C. Ellipse the morning of Jan. 6, 2021. The Former Guy exhorted the crowd — after Mrs. Thomas had left — to take back the government.

They stormed the Capitol and damn near overran the U.S. government in the process.

Colorado supreme court justices ruled that the ex-POTUS was ineligible to run for office because he took part in the effort to overthrow the government and gave ”aid and comfort” to those who stormed the Capitol.

Mrs. Thomas was part of the mob. She clearly had to have spoken to her husband, Justice Thomas, about the events of that day. In my view, Justice Thomas’s judicial integrity was compromised by his wife’s presence in the crowd.

He damn sure should have recused himself. But … he did no such thing.

Justice Thomas has ruled in favor of the ex-POTUS’s arguments already, even when he has been in the minority among justices. Of course, I have no hard knowledge that his decisions were influenced by his wife. Still, his participation in these legal matters just doesn’t pass the proverbial smell test.

Indeed, it stinks to high heaven … and beyond!

The court will decide soon whether the Colorado ruling will stand. My sense is that the court will side with the former POTUS and allow his name to return to that state’s ballot.

The very notion, though, of Justice Clarence Thomas taking part in this judicial matter simply makes me sick.

SCOTUS takes tiny step

The U.S. Supreme Court is 234 years of age and only until this week it has operated without a single standard for the way its justices should conduct themselves.

The court finally has adopted a sort of guideline for the things its justices can do, but it falls far short of anything worth a damn or any measure that could help restore public confidence in our nation’s highest court.

Two justices have been in the news of late. Clarence Thomas — the court’s senior member in terms of service — has received lavish gifts from a Dallas billionaire while also ruling on cases involving the Harlan Crow’s business interests. The gifts include vacations for Thomas and his wife, tuition paid for his grandson, and a mortgage paid for a home occupied by Thomas’s mother.

Samuel Alito took a fishing trip at the expense of a hedge fund manager and then failed to recuse himself in a case involving the fund.

Oh, we also have the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg taking a trip to Israel paid for by someone with a case pending before the court.

This is utter nonsense. It’s pure crap. It compromises the court’s integrity, its fairness, its objectivity, its ability to rule on the merits of a case exclusively without being influenced by outside pressure.

I have been yammering all along that Clarence Thomas should resign from the court, but that call involves the numerous instances of conflict of interest that seem to fly over the justice’s head; the others involve his wife’s involvement in the Big Lie and the assault by MAGA morons on 1/6 seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The very first rule of ethics should be for justices to avoid any possible conflict of interest by being involved in any fashion with litigants appearing before them. The Supreme Court has stated it now in writing.

What’s missing, though, is any meaningful enforcement of the rules. The court has laid out nothing that prescribes a punishment for justices who are caught violating these rules.

That absolutely must be the next step.

GOP not more corrupt than Dems, however …

There is not a chance in hell I am going to declare that Republicans as a human subspecies are inherently more corrupt than Democrats.

However … we are seeing a disturbing trend that seems to give substance to that assertion. I refer to the incidents involving GOP-appointed justices who sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rather than recuse themselves from cases involving wealthy benefactors, three justices seem to go on as if, well, there’s not a damn thing wrong with accepting lavish gifts from individuals who have business before the court.

This is a matter of perception. If the public believes a justice is influenced by those gifts, there remains little room for the justice to set the record straight.

Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted lavish vacations from Texas billionaire Harland Crow. He hasn’t recused himself from any decisions involving his big-time pal. Thomas was nominated for the court in 1991 by GOP President George HW Bush.

Justice Samuel Alito has been accepting lavish gifts from an uber-rich Republican activist. No recusal from Alito, either. President George W. Bush nominated Alito in 2005 to the highest court in the land.

Chief Justice John Roberts’s wife has been working as a head-hunter for big-time law firms that have cases before the high court. Oh, Roberts is another G.W. Bush appointee.

OK, enough about the high court. I have witnessed judicial misbehavior in Texas at lower courts. For instance, I offered criticism of a Democratic district judge in Jefferson County who used facsimile letterhead stationery to help him acquire a private business license to operate a restaurant in the county courthouse.

These recent examples of lax ethics standards on the Supreme Court, though, does involve Republican-appointed justices. It is troubling in the extreme to see the court’s public opinion standing plummet in real time.

Americans have every right to demand and expect their justices to adhere to high ethical standards. We aren’t getting it at this time from some members of the high court’s conservative super-majority.

I am, therefore, demanding it from the U.S. Supreme Court.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Not a ‘liberal’ vendetta

As I listen to congressional Republicans launch their counterattack in defense of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, I am struck by what I am not hearing from them.

I am not hearing GOP lawmakers actually defending Justice Thomas’s receiving of lavish gifts from a Texas billionaire. They aren’t justifying the fact that Thomas has refused to report those gifts to the court.

No. Instead they are questioning the motives of those who are reporting these hideous ethical lapses on the part of Justice Thomas. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, said liberals “hate” Justice Thomas and “will do anything” to undermine him.

Others have echoed the Cruz Missile. The likes of Sen. Josh “Clenched Fist” Hawley, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Mike Lee all have singled out the so-called “liberal media” for launching what they call a vendetta against the conservative justice.

Thomas has taken vacations aboard Harlan Crow’s luxurious yacht; he has allowed Crow to purchase his mother’s house and let her live in it rent free; he has paid for a grandnephew’s tuition at a high-end private school.

Think about this: What we have is a Supreme Court justice who is on the take.

C’mon, guys! This isn’t a “liberal media” campaign. It is the result of gumshoe reporting that has revealed the sad and maddening lack of ethical standards for the nine men and women who sit on the nation’s highest judicial panel.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Thomas’s ethics getting stickier

Is there no end in sight for the ways that Clarence Thomas can disgrace himself, the high office he occupies and the judicial system over which he presides?

The U.S. Supreme Court associate justice — the longest-tenured member of the nation’s highest court — is now reportedly the recipient of yet another lavish gift from a Texas billionaire who, that’s right, has business before the court.

Dallas financier Harlan Crow has been paying the tuition to a high-priced private school for Justice Thomas’s grandnephew, who he has raised as his son.

Oh, my. The hits just keep coming. Crow has treated Justice and Mrs. Thomas to trips on his private aircraft and yacht in exotic locations around the world. He has purchased a home for Thomas’s mother and allowed her to live in it rent free. Now we hear about the tuition payments for Thomas’s grandnephew.

I want to offer a bouquet of sorts to Justice Thomas, who has helped raise the young man. That’s a noble act and I don’t want to let that go unnoticed. However, such nobility should not be the stuff of potential graft from a rich pal … who befriended the justice only after he joined the Supreme Court in 1991.

What a coincidence, yes?

As we have noted here already, the nation’s highest court demands the courts lower on the judicial pecking order follow strict ethical guidelines. Yet it has none for its own nine members.

Are we left, then, to believe the Supreme Court is self-policing, that its justices are adhering to the letter and the spirit of ethical standards? I guess so … except that they aren’t doing anything of the sort.

What we have instead is a Supreme Court once held in high esteem by the public denigrating itself because some of its members — not just Justice Thomas — are flouting the standards they demand of others within the federal judiciary.

It is hypocritical in the extreme.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

SCOTUS: above the law?

The irony is so rich you can slice and dice it, given the U.S. Supreme Court’s insistence that lower courts abide by strict ethics rules … but operates on its own without any such restriction.

We have three justices on the nation’s highest court who now have some serious — and possibly egregious — ethics troubles hanging over them.

They start with the chief justice, John Roberts and include Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. The Senate Judiciary Committee had invited Chief Justice Roberts to visit with the panel about those questions, but Roberts declined, citing judicial independence.

Ridiculous.

Roberts’s wife is a headhunter for law firms, earning millions of dollars annually. The firms for which she works routinely have business before her husband’s court. Conflict of interest? Looks like it to me.

Justice Gorsuch sold some property to a lawyer with another mega firm, which also does business with the court. More conflict? Umm, yep!

Justice Thomas has demonstrated a nearly legendary lapse of judgment. His wife is part of the Big Lie crowd, believing the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump; a Texas gazillionaire has lavished gifts on the Thomases and the justice has failed to report them; the rich Texan also has purchased the justice’s mother’s home and allows her to live there rent free. What do you think about that? Yeah … conflict of interest.

But the court has no rules governing this conduct. There are no restrictions or reporting requirements demanded of the men and women who serve on the court.

These men all have one thing else in common: they are Republican-nominated justices.

Why mention the partisan label? Well, consider something else. Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, was a partner in an international law firm. By the time VP Harris was sworn into office, Emhoff quit his job, surrendering millions of dollars in income. Why? Because there might be a hint of conflict. He chose the right path and is now teaching law at Georgetown University, earning a handsome salary, but which is significantly less than he would have earned had he stayed employed by the mega firm.

No one can fire any of the justices, or the vice president. The only way to remove them from office is to impeach them and then convict them in a congressional trial. The three men mentioned here have ignored any pretense of ethical conduct; the vice president and her husband have chosen a more correct option.

There must be an accounting for the individuals who serve on the nation’s highest court. For the chief justice to resist any calls for ethics reform is to betray the high office he occupies.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Just quit, Justice Thomas!

Your humble blogger — that’s me! — has used this forum to call for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to resign because of what I believe is a conflict of interest involving his wife’s involvement with The Big Lie movement and the 2020 presidential election.

I now want to offer a brief explanation as to why it wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference on the high court.

The Supreme Court now comprises a 6 to 3 conservative majority. Thomas is one of the six; the others are Chief Justice John Roberts and associate justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.

If Thomas left the court, it would still have a conservative majority, given that President Biden is likely to find a more, um, liberal judge to confirm to the court.

So, what’s the big deal? Justice Thomas no longer is able to serve on the court when his wife is actively involved in a matter involving the 2020 election, which keeps coming before the court on various rulings … which Thomas glaringly deviates from the majority by dissenting in favor of the 45th POTUS.

Then comes the news about Justice Thomas taking those lavish gifts from a billionaire Texan and refusing to report them, as he should have done. Good grief! Oh, and then the billionaire ends up buying a house for Thomas’s mother … and lets her live there rent-free!

Just resign, Justice Thomas.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Move over, Clarence Thomas …

Now we hear that Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch might be in a bit of a jam over ethical conduct.

What the … ?

First it was Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife Ginni, got caught up in The Big Lie nonsense over the 2020 presidential election. She attended the rally in which Donald Trump urged the angry crowd to march on the Capitol and “take back” our country. It didn’t work out well. Then the justice cast the lone vote against a decision requiring the ex-POTUS to turn over documents to the National Archives. A connection? Hmm … looks like it to me.

Then came the Harlan Crow matter, with the Dallas zillionaire lavishing gifts on the Thomases, which the justice didn’t report.

Now comes Justice Gorsuch, who reportedly sold a $2 million piece of property to an executive with a mega-legal firm that does business with the court.

It all calls to question the lax ethical standards intended to govern the behavior of the nine men and women who serve on the nation’s highest court.

There needs to be an ethical standard for the nation’s highest court. Chief Justice John Roberts so far has refused to act. The Senate, which must confirm nominees to the federal bench, can do the right thing, if it can muster up the will. So far it has refused.

I daresay the nation’s founders are likely spinning in their graves over the politicization of the SCOTUS. They sought to remove the judiciary from the political arena. Their experiment has failed, sad to say.

The high court demands lower courts adhere to ethical standards. Yet it doesn’t have any such standards for its own justices to follow.

It’s a shameful (or shameless) dereliction of duty.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Come clean, Mr. Justice … or else!

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be in a world of hurt right now, but he isn’t. Not by a long shot.

Why? Because the court on which he has served since 1991 has no rules governing its members’ conduct.

Oh, my … that needs to change!

It has been revealed that Thomas accepted ritzy travel gifts from a rich Republican donor, Harlan Crow of Texas, without reporting them to authorities. Thomas  now says he was advised by others that he didn’t need to do such a thing and, of course, accepting such extravagant gifts did nothing to influence his rulings on political matters.

Democrats are outraged over these findings. They have good reason to be angry. They also are a bit dispirited because they have few legislative options in Congress available to them.

Thomas is a walking case of judicial hypocrisy. The high court demands that lower courts set strict ethical standards and requires them to enforce them strictly. The SCOTUS, though, is immune from such protection. Justices are free to flout the rules whenever they please. Clarence Thomas is the worst of the bunch.

He needs to be impeached by Congress and put on trial for his ethical transgressions. Will it happen? Hah! Hardly.

The man is a disgrace to the court and to the nation.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This ain’t Wal-Mart, Mr. Justice

Clarence Thomas once declared he is favors RVs and Wal-Mart parking lots over luxury vacation retreats.

He said he comes from “simple stock.”

Oh, really, Mr. Supreme Court Justice? How does he explain the luxurious vacations he and his wife, Ginni, took on the dime of a wealthy Republican donor? Well, he isn’t talking because the Supreme Court doesn’t have any ethics rules for justices to follow.

Justice Thomas is a hypocrite of the lowest order. He needs to be resign from the court. The House ought to impeach him. The Senate ought to try him and he ought to be removed from the court.

Recall, too, how Justice Thomas voted against rules sanctioning the 45th POTUS after it was revealed that Ginni Thomas is a vocal supporter of The Big Lie about the 2020 election, which she contends was “strolen” from the ex-POTUS.

Good grief! This baloney has got to stop.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com