Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Lawmakers call for investigation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas… finally

English: Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of...

English: Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Progressive groups like Common Cause have been calling for a conflict of interest investigation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for months now.

Back in January, Common Cause linked Justices Thomas and Antonin Scalia to the infamous Koch brothers.

From the Tucson Progressive

The watchdog group Common Cause is now raising the question of conflict of interest in this case [Citizens United]. Two of the court’s most conservative justices– Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, who voted in favor of Citizens United– have been linked to Charles and David Koch, conservative billionaires who push right-wing causes with their contributions and benefited from the Citizens United ruling.

At issue is the justices attendance at soirees hosted by the Kochs. Common Cause has asked the Justice Department to investigate the connection and has asked for a re-trial if conflict of interest is found.

Today, the Huffington Post reported that a group of 20 Democratic lawmakers are calling for an ethics investigation of Thomas for 20 YEARS of not reporting gifts and other income on his financial disclosure forms. From the Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Democratic lawmakers on Thursday called for a federal investigation into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ failure to report hundreds of thousands of dollars on annual financial disclosure forms.

Led by House Rules Committee ranking member Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), 20 House Democrats sent a letter to the Judicial Conference of the United States — the entity that frames guidelines for the administration of federal courts — requesting that the conference refer the matter of Thomas’ non-compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to the Department of Justice.

The letter outlines how, throughout his 20-year tenure on the Supreme Court, Thomas routinely checked a box titled “none” on his annual financial disclosure forms, indicating that his wife had received no income. But in reality, the letter states, she earned nearly $700,000 from the Heritage Foundation from 2003 to 2007 alone.

Slaughter called it “absurd” to suggest that Thomas may not have known how to fill out the forms.

“It is reasonable, in every sense of the word, to believe that a member of the highest court in the land should know how to properly disclose almost $700,000 worth of income,” Slaughter said in a statement. “To not be able to do so is suspicious, and according to law, requires further investigation. To accept Justice Thomas’s explanation without doing the required due diligence would be irresponsible.”

The letter also cites a June report in The New York Times indicating Thomas may have regularly benefited from the use of a private yacht and airplane owned by real estate magnate Harlan Crowe and failed to disclose the travel as a gift or travel reimbursement.

Current law requires the Judicial Conference to refer to the Attorney General any judge the conference “has reasonable cause to believe has willfully failed to file a report or has willfully falsified or willfully failed to file information required to be reported.”

Slaughter’s press statement also notes that the Heritage Foundation was a prominent opponent of the Affordable Care Act, an issue the Supreme Court is expected to rule on by next summer.

Finally, someone has the backbone to investigate this guy. He never should have been confirmed in the first place. Special thanks to CD7 Representative Raul Grijalva for being one of the 20 signers on this letter.

12 comments on “Lawmakers call for investigation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas… finally

  1. GREECE AHOY
    September 29, 2011

    Saw the list of signatories, what a gallery of pride this lot makes up, including (of course) ol’ Raul.
    More interested in the latest Solar Co.guarentees just made to Pelosi’ brother-in-law, frankly. 

    • LH
      September 29, 2011

      yes, i am more intersted in the white house handling of Solyndra than what a wife of a supreme court justice is doing,   see they couldnt get a repub, them dems sure are sore losers

      • pamela
        September 29, 2011

        So, 20 years of fraud in financial disclosures and multiple conflicts of interest not declared by a SUPREME COURT JUSTICE is no big deal??? You have got to be kidding.

      • usmctrucker
        September 30, 2011

        I wouldn’t hold my breath on this, with the way they let Rangel skate away from his illegal dealings and Maxine Water’s family banking scandal; even if there is something here, Washington types will just “count coup” and save a favor for when they themselves get into a scrape.  Anyone remember the BCCI scandal?

      • Ernie McCray
        September 30, 2011

        Hey, we’d rather fight among ourselves, denigrating each other every day on this website rather than pause and see the seriousness involved with a judge on the highest court of the land indulging in fraudulent activities.

      • JUST LIKE GREECE
        September 30, 2011

        I’ll mention it again. Obamacare is coming up in front of the Supreme court and the signatores of the letter were pulled out of their rat holes by their leadership to attach their names to a pure pile of dog do since they are only in Congress to do the Democratic leadership’s bidding on command. 

  2. LH
    September 29, 2011

    Tucson progressives my but

  3. J Rooney
    September 29, 2011

    They can start this investigation as soon as they finish the investigation on Maxine Waters. Then they can start another one about the solar loan just made to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law. After that then they can investigate the gifts that Thomas may or may not have received.

  4. dollarshort
    September 29, 2011

    I think they should investigate every judge and every politician. Has anyone notice there are no poor politician? I think every politician should offer financial advise,  as they are able to leverage a government salary into millions.  

  5. R
    September 30, 2011

    Well 20 years of fraud, ad that to his controversial appointment and all that mess I doubt he is the most stellar US supreme court justice and if he cannot fill out a form correctly on his wifes $700,000 plus income, how can he be compentent to rule on complicated legal cases?

    • JUST LIKE GREECE
      September 30, 2011

      Frankly there are many,many articles to review on this subject- The latest one last month in the New Yorker.
      It boils down to the fact that B.O. CARE is coming up on the docket has NOTHING, NOTHING to do with these “Representatives” letter- It was “round up the usual idiots” for signatures- Notice the names- A bunch of back benchers-Each one with freezers full of money. I would love the same investigation called on that lot and see whjat happens.thing. 
      Raul has a full time staff keeping him upright (both barely on the side of limits of what he takes, as well as physically upright) and none us  complain about THAT. 

  6. terese dudas
    September 30, 2011

    Progressive paranoia at full tilt!

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This entry was posted on September 29, 2011 by in campaign financing, Capitalism, Political corruption, Scandal, SCOTUS and tagged , , .

About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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