Should Clarence Thomas resign or be Impeached for unethical behavior?

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  1. My Esoteric profile image85
    My Esotericposted 14 months ago

    A brand new report just came out that shows Thomas was investigated in 2011 for exactly the same type of unethical behavior we see today..  Then, of course, you have the Brett Kavanaugh-type inquiry into claims of Thomas' sexual abuse.

    Should this man of questionable integrity be sitting on the Supreme Court?

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/17/politics … index.html

    1. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 14 months agoin reply to this

      ESO, I had a thread starting on this very topic, I would  appreciate your imput and comments there and see if where the discussion has been leading to make sense to you?

    2. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      Investigated in 2011.  And to be investigated is the same as guilt, right?

  2. My Esoteric profile image85
    My Esotericposted 14 months ago

    Here is an interesting potential result of Crow's gifts to Thomas -

    "Wyden has raised the possibility that the hospitality may have required disclosure on federal tax filings, which generally require taxpayers to report gifts in excess of a certain amount. The letter also indicated an interest in examining whether the travel was recorded on tax records as a business expense."

    While Crow may have to have reported some of the things he gave Thomas, Thomas doesn't have to report receiving them to the IRS.

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/17/politics … index.html

    1. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 14 months agoin reply to this

      The biggest problem I have over this is the fact that the Republicans r sist the idea of a code of conduct for the court justices. All of the justices have a lot of latitude, beyond that of employees of the Executive branch. We have been in the same line of work and we knew what happened if you are caught playing fast and lose with ethic rules.

      Why are Republicans so against the idea for any and all of justices? What are they trying to protect and conceal this time?

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Why didn't Democrats do something while they had all the power?  Why did they put it off - what did they have to hide? 

        Was it because (say it softly) any real code of ethics for the SCOTUS would require jurists to vote the law rather than liberal politics?

        1. My Esoteric profile image85
          My Esotericposted 14 months agoin reply to this

          When was the last time Democrats had a supermajority in both Houses?  That is the only time they had ALL the power, as you characterize it.  Seems to me, Supreme Court ethics wasn't a thing back in the early Obama days.  Maybe THAT is why Democrats "didn't do something".

        2. Credence2 profile image79
          Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

          We should have, now that the scale of this has been revealed with the Thomas case, perhaps now is the time to address it. So, it is being brought to the table to apply to all justices, do Republicans have a problem with that?

          Thr REAL CODE of ETHICS would puts restraints on receiving gifts and being influenced by such where there is the appearance of a conflict of interest and impartiality, which is already clearly defined by regulations that work in other branches of Government.

          1. My Esoteric profile image85
            My Esotericposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            What reason did they have in Obama's time to press for a code of ethics for the Justices.  While it would have been good to have, there were no Thomas-type affairs to drive the issue.

      2. GA Anderson profile image89
        GA Andersonposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Republicans may be against adopting an ethics code for the Justices, but so are the Justices—all 9 of them.

        Relative to the nation's final arbiter (the Court and its mechanisms), it must be a position of trust. It will always be a body of differing ideologies, but it should never be a mix of politics.

        The attacks on Justice Thomas are not criminal in nature, they are political attacks. Trying to turn them into ethics violations, relative to the stature of a Justice, as they would equate to being applied to politicians (a most trustworthy lot?), doesn't work for me. It's just more politics where they shouldn't be.

        I think a Court of mixed ideologies is a natural and right thing. I do trust the Court as a body. Generally (again with the possible exception of the tuition thing), the things Thomas is being attacked for have been within the ethics code observed by all Justices. Yet they weren't a problem until a conservative Justice followed that same ethics standard.

        That is just politics, and trying to sneak it in under the innocent guise of 'Who could object to a code of ethics?' is disingenuous.

        Do you think those damn ethics-resisting Republicans know they are helping those damn liberal judges hide their ethics violations too?

        GA

        1. My Esoteric profile image85
          My Esotericposted 14 months agoin reply to this

          "Relative to the nation's final arbiter (the Court and its mechanisms), it must be a position of trust." - AGREED, which Thomas has broken since at least 2011.

          The attacks on Thomas are a result of his lack of ethics, not politics.  The politics comes in because only the Democrats seem to care.

          BTW, I am still waiting for proof that the liberal Justices (or any of the other conservative Justices for that matter) have acted unethically.  All that has been shown is that Breyer took some trips on a billionaires dime.  Missing is any accusation that he didn't report it like Thomas didn't.

          Consequently, I can't give your last sentence any weight.

          I trust the Court if it were full of moderates, not extremists.  Unfortunately, Trump made sure it was full of right-wing extremists with his appointments.  The Court, in my opinion, breaks down this way:

          - Two far-right extremists who shouldn't even be on the Court
          - Three far-right conservatives
          - One somewhat far-right conservative
          - Three not too far-left liberals.

          I would like to see Alito and Thomas replace with a Garland and Kennedy-type.

          1. GA Anderson profile image89
            GA Andersonposted 14 months agoin reply to this

            If you compare Justice Breyer's few trips on a billionaire's dime with the many trips of Justice Thomas, it appears you are assigning degrees of the ethics violations to determine whether an ethics violation occurred.

            Per the information in Mike's post (in another thread) the ranking of trips noted puts Breyer at the top of the list, not just a few trips: "Justice Stephen Breyer appointed the year later in 1994, took 233 reported trips, including 63 international trips."

            He was followed by Ginsberg: “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed in 1993. Two years later in the time she was on the court. She took 157 trips, including 28 international trips."

            At the real bottom of the list, but at the top of your list, is:

            "Justice Thomas [who] was appointed in 1991. And the time since then, he's taken 109 reported trips, five international trips."

            Your reasoning implies you think one can be a little bit pregnant, right?

            GA

            1. My Esoteric profile image85
              My Esotericposted 14 months agoin reply to this

              I trust Mike as much as I trust Trump.  That said, Mike didn't prove that Breyer was unethical.  He "said" Breyer took trips on a billionaires dime.  I don't want to waste time on him so I will take that as true.

              While it doesn't apply here because Breyer is presumed to be ethical unless evidence is offered that says otherwise, I do make distinctions between jaywalking - a crime - and murder - also a crime.  So yes, you can be a little bit pregnant.


              BTW, the "number" of trips is just a deflection.  The ethical issue is that he didn't report them since they were gifts from a political donor.  THAT is the ethical lapse, in case Mike had misled you.

              1. GA Anderson profile image89
                GA Andersonposted 14 months agoin reply to this

                I must be prophetic. I expected your jaywalking/murder response and ya still got me. "So yes, you can be a little bit pregnant." I didn't expect that. One is either pregnant or not in my world.

                Neither does shooting the messenger because you don't like the message. Mike's post was of quotes, he didn't make them up. And my reference to them wasn't as facts but as information provided in a thread.

                [ADDED] To the number of trips being a deflection, the implication is that an expensive trip on a billionaire's dime is okay as long as it's reported. Is that how you see it?

                GA

                1. My Esoteric profile image85
                  My Esotericposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  It is how he put them together leaving out context and only giving part of the story.

                  That is sort of like your last statement that is missing important context.  I know you are just yanking my chain because unlike others, I don't think you are being obtuse.  What is the context you left out?  The fact of whether there were political overtones to the transaction.

                  In Thomas' case, bribery or influence is often the quid pro quo from the "gifts" he received.  Mike made no such claim against Breyer, he just said Breyer took trips on a billionaires dime. I am sure you didn't miss that distinction.

                  1. GA Anderson profile image89
                    GA Andersonposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    The problem you see with Mike's presentation of the quotes is separate from my referencing them. They were referenced simply as data points — the pro or con presentation of them doesn't affect their use as bits of information. The details attached to them can be argued as right or wrong (your view of missing context), but the only argument against using them as numbers to be compared would be whether the number was right or wrong.

                    I didn't touch the point of political overtones attached to the trips, I only spoke to the issue of Justices taking expense-paid trips paid for by rich friends. As you like to say, mine was an apples-to-apples comparison. The type and purpose of the trip are secondary to that point.

                    I've heard the criticisms, particularly of Thomas: about the non-reporting and political-influence purpose of the freebies, but I haven't looked. I don't know beans about them, so they were never part of my point. I think that has been clear and your argument about why Thomas' were ethics violations and Breyer's weren't is a separate point. I don't think any context was left out. It wasn't needed.

                    The starting point is whether taking expense-paid trips is a violation of ethics in the sphere of the Court. The propriety and legal boundaries for ethical determination (mandated ethics code) have to originate from that starting point question.

                    The thought behind my point is that generally speaking, I don't have a problem with the practice. Of course, there is the opportunity for abuse, but relative to the stature of a Justice, they've earned the assumption of trustworthiness.

                    If a Fortes-type instance arises (if the charges were true) I trust the Court to follow similar self-regulation. If not, the politicians will create a legal authority to do it. (as Nixon's actions against Fortes were claimed to be)

                    GA

        2. Credence2 profile image79
          Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

          Well, GA, of course all 9 justices are going to oppose any kind of restraint on their behavior while on the bench, could you have expected anything different? No one wants to have his or her behavior involuntary restrained.

          It is a position of trust until you can see that that trust is dangerously violated. I always say, trust but verify. That applies to all members of the court.

          I have acknowledged that I may have picked on Thomas, but the larger problem of conflict of interests and compromise of objectivity still remains. I spoke of the resignation Abe Fortas in 1969 for a comparatively minor ethics violation. The rules regarding ethics were pretty much in cement for the Court and both parties of Congress, even the Democrats who stood to lose an ideological kindred from the court. The integrity and impartiality of the court seem to override petty partisan considerations. What has happened to all that? You are a supporter of the "system", how does it go so far awry since 1969?

          Regardless of your opinion, in my opinion ethics stands as a problem from the standpoint of all parties concerned.

          And still the Republican resist the idea of a more rigid ethics code with teeth and the Democrat support it.

          But is that not part of a Republican style of thinking that the wealthy should always have an inordinate amount of influence in how our government is run, is that the source of the resistance?

          1. My Esoteric profile image85
            My Esotericposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            To be honest, Credence, I could have. And as I said earlier I am sorely disappointed in our liberal Justices for taking a bite from that poisoned apple.

    2. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks for helping to bring ever more pertinent information front and center.

  3. IslandBites profile image90
    IslandBitesposted 13 months ago

    I dont get why this is a partisan issue for some people. Why defend someone only because he is a conservative judge? At the least, this warrants the calls for an investigation. Everybody should be suspicious and uncomfortable with this his actions.

    For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them. He frequently took trips on Crow's private jet and yacht. One such excursion in 2019 was worth $500,000.

    In 2011, The New York Times reported on Crow’s generosity toward the justice. That same year, Politico revealed that Crow had given half a million dollars to a Tea Party group founded by Ginni Thomas, which also paid her a $120,000 salary.

    In 2014, one of Texas billionaire Harlan Crow’s companies purchased an old single-story home and two vacant lots down the road in Savannah, Georgia.  The Crow company bought the properties for $133,363 from three co-owners — Thomas, his mother and the family of Thomas’ late brother. He now owned the house where the justice’s elderly mother was living. Soon after the sale was completed, contractors began work on tens of thousands of dollars of improvements on the two-bedroom, one-bathroom home. A Crow Holdings company soon began paying the roughly $1,500 in annual property taxes on Thomas’ mother’s house, according to county tax records. The taxes had previously been paid by Clarence and Ginni Thomas. Crow still owns Thomas’ mother’s home, which the now-94-year-old continued to live in through at least 2020, according to public records and social media. Two neighbors told ProPublica she still lives there.

    Thomas’ financial disclosure for that year is detailed, listing everything from a “stained glass medallion” he received from Yale to a life insurance policy. But he failed to report his sale to Crow. A federal disclosure law passed after Watergate requires justices and other officials to disclose the details of most real estate sales over $1,000. Thomas never disclosed his sale of the Savannah properties.

    Crow paid tuition for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ grandnephew for two years at two private boarding schools which would amount to roughly $100,000 of undisclosed gifts. Thomas did not include the payments in the financial disclosures he is required to file each year.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/clar … gifts-crow
    https://www.propublica.org/article/clar … ate-scotus
    https://www.propublica.org/article/clar … tin-school
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-colu … -the-court

    Long an influential figure in pro-business conservative politics, Crow has spent millions on ideological efforts to shape the law and the judiciary. A major Republican donor for decades, Crow has given more than $10 million in publicly disclosed political contributions. He’s also given to groups that keep their donors secret — how much of this so-called dark money he’s given and to whom are not fully known. “I don’t disclose what I’m not required to disclose,” Crow once told the Times.

    Crow has long supported efforts to move the judiciary to the right. He has donated to the Federalist Society and given millions of dollars to groups dedicated to tort reform and conservative jurisprudence.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      "I dont get why this is a partisan issue for some people."

      Probably because, going on what this thread has said, liberal judges have been doing it for years without any complaint.  It thus looks like nothing more but another liberal attack on anything conservative, whether it is or not.

      1. IslandBites profile image90
        IslandBitesposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Not true. Or at least I haven seen allegations against any other judge, liberal or conservative, of the same kind that has been alleged against Thomas. The problematic part it is not the trips/gifts (it should be, but it is legal, as long as it is reported). It is that he never disclosed them, like it is required.

        But even if "It thus looks like nothing more but another liberal attack on anything conservative, whether it is or not." Any responsible non partisan citizen, should try to find if "it is or not" before defending someone just because.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          Who else reported the gifts?  And who found out if "it is or not" before attacking Thomas?  I mean, I'm seeing demands that Thomas be removed from the bench before finding out anything at all except that someone gave him a gift.  Isn't that what you're requiring - to "find out" before defending?  Doesn't it work both ways?

          1. IslandBites profile image90
            IslandBitesposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            except that someone gave him a gift.

            Again, that is not the issue.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              Then I don't understand what the issue is.  That he didn't report the gift?  Report it to whom?  Is it required under law, or just curiosity?  Are you wanting anyone getting a (large) gift to report it, or just some?

              1. IslandBites profile image90
                IslandBitesposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Im sorry but that's the problem when you want to discuss an issue but you dont inform yourself.

                It wasnt "a" "the" gift. There were multiple gifts and trips, a real estate sale, and so on that he didnt report. And yes, it is required. The same posts you're replying to are quoting this.

                He has expressed his "reasons" for not doing it, but he admited that he didnt. So yes, it is problematic and at the least, warrants an investigation.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  Who is requiring it?  Not the IRS, and posts in this thread seem to indicate no one does.  Are you sure you're informed with the correct information?

                  He sold real estate and didn't report the sale?  Again, report it to whom, and why?  I never "reported" such a sale - why would he?  Are you saying that his financial dealings must be an open book for everyone?  If so, what law requires that?

                  And you never answered the question; who else didn't report and why are they not being semi-accused of some vile crime?  Why only Thomas?

                  1. IslandBites profile image90
                    IslandBitesposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    You are all over the place.

                    Supreme Court justices are required to file annual financial disclosure reports under the Ethics and Government Act of 1978.

                    Federal disclosure law passed after Watergate requires justices and other officials to disclose the details of most real estate sales over $1,000.

                    And I did. No one as of now. If they did, (and Im sure there are people looking for some "but they did too" so we'll find out soon enough), they will be.

                    Now, you can search and read the rest if you're really interested.

                  2. Credence2 profile image79
                    Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    https://thehill.com/regulation/court-ba … ree-trips/

                    This might help and it is to apply to all justices. An annual disclosure report is now Required and is not optional.

                  3. My Esoteric profile image85
                    My Esotericposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    You aren't a Supreme Court Justice, are you, who could rule on the person you are receiving gifts from.

                2. My Esoteric profile image85
                  My Esotericposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  "Im sorry but that's the problem when you want to discuss an issue but you dont inform yourself." - AGREED

                  And the defining point is the gift giver potentially can receive benefit from those gifts in the way a Justice might rule for them (as Thomas did in at least one case involving a Crow entity).

              2. My Esoteric profile image85
                My Esotericposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Actually, it IS required under the law - for anybody in the executive and judicial branches (not sure about the legislative) EXCEPT the Supreme Court Justices. 

                What is supposed to guide them are ETHICS, of which Thomas apparently has none.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  Then it is NOT required under the law, just as you say.  And apparently Thomas has the same ethics as the rest, unless you are prepared to say everyone else reports gifts from personal friends.

          2. My Esoteric profile image85
            My Esotericposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            I don't know and neither do you maybe all the liberal Justices reported such gifts.  What is your rational that liberal Justices receive gifts all the time from rich political activists.  Maybe they do report it, but Thomas certainly didn't.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              Going solely on the reports in this thread. 

              Maybe they did...but no one has indicated.  Personally I think it rather safe to think they did not.

  4. My Esoteric profile image85
    My Esotericposted 10 months ago

    It has become even more clear why Clarence Thomas (I hesitate to call him a Justice anymore) should be impeached.  He is a liar and unethical and is not fit to be a Justice.

    Not only is he being bought off by Harlan Crowe, he lied about his sister.

    In 1981, Thomas said "“She gets mad when the mailman is late with her welfare check,” Thomas said in a remark that has since been widely quoted. “That is how dependent she is. What’s worse is that now her kids feel entitled to the check, too. They have no motivation for doing better or getting out of that situation.”[/b]  - THAT was a LIE.

    [i]"But a journalist tracked down Thomas’ sister and discovered that what he said about her was not quite true. She learned that while Thomas attended law school, his sister Emma Mae Martin worked two minimum-wage jobs before quitting to take care of an ailing elderly aunt. She did receive welfare checks, but their sums were paltry, and she later took another job as a hospital cook. And her children all either worked or were in school when the journalist spoke with her. One even served his country aboard a battleship during Operation Desert Storm."
    - It is no wonder Blacks look down on Thomas.

    :But the latest revelations about Thomas may also have another unintended effect: They should put the to rest the myth about why so many Black people have despised Thomas going back to his days in the Reagan administration, when he chaired the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    But many Black people don’t despise Thomas because he’s a conservative. They reject him because they say he’s a “hypocrite” and a “traitor” who hurts his own people to help himself.


    Georgia State Senator Nikki Merritt says "“Justice Thomas likes to talk about the myth of pulling himself up by his bootstraps and being resilient, yet he’s benefited from handouts from these White conservatives who have supported his privileged lifestyle,” she says. “That makes him a traitor and a hypocrite in my eyes.”


    https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/11/politics … index.html

    1. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 10 months agoin reply to this

      I don't beat up on Uncle Clerance because he is a conservative justice, what bothers me is this
      -----
      But many Black people don’t despise Thomas because he’s a conservative. They reject him because they say he’s a “hypocrite” and a “traitor” who hurts his own people to help himself.

      Georgia State Senator Nikki Merritt says "“Justice Thomas likes to talk about the myth of pulling himself up by his bootstraps and being resilient, yet he’s benefited from handouts from these White conservatives who have supported his privileged lifestyle,” she says. “That makes him a traitor and a hypocrite in my eyes.”


      I can't see the Supreme Court being an impartial arbiter of anything when too many justices seem to disregard the principle of staying away from corruption ( being bought) or the appearance of same.

      1. My Esoteric profile image85
        My Esotericposted 10 months agoin reply to this

        Alito and Thomas have certainly tarnished the Court.

  5. My Esoteric profile image85
    My Esotericposted 9 months ago

    Thomas' conservative bias is so strong, it makes him unfit to serve on an impartial Supreme Court.

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/202 … tm-vpx.cnn

 
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