I thought the Supreme Court Justices were supposed to be examples for the rest of us. Sure, no one is perfect. And I don’t expect anyone to put the members of the court on a pedestal. But, come on Clarence Thomas! You profess to be just a regular guy who has unbiased opinions that affect laws in our great country. Justice Thomas once said, “I prefer traveling by RV and staying in RV parks.” And by RV he must mean private jets and yachts. And by RV parks he must mean luxury resorts.
I see how you could easily make that mistake.
Honestly, I never believed any of that “man of the people” stuff. And what we learned recently about Supreme Court Justice Thomas is something that needs explaining.
ProPublica, an independent, non-profit investigative journalism organization, released a report that claims Justice Thomas has spent more than 20 years accepting gifts and high-dollar trips from a megadonor in the Republican Party, real estate billionaire Harlan Crow. According to the report, Justice Thomas failed to divulge details of the gifts and trips. That would be a “no-no.”
ProPublica reports, according to two ethics law experts, “His failure to report the flights appears to violate a law passed after Watergate that requires justices, judges, members of Congress, and federal officials to disclose most gifts.”
It doesn’t take a Supreme Court Justice to recognize, on the surface, this is a bad look.
Some Democrats are quickly calling for his impeachment. As expected, GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are saying, “Nothing to see here. Move along.”
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, a Democrat, wrote, “Today’s report demonstrates, yet again, that Supreme Court Justices must be held to an enforceable code of conduct, just like every other federal judge. The ProPublica report is a call to action, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will act.”
Durbin chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.
So, what happens next? Probably nothing more than an email to all Supreme Court Justices that says, “Hey guys, don’t forget to fill out the proper forms if a megadonor pays for your private jet and luxury hotel stays. We don’t want our citizens to believe these donors are buying your court opinions. Have a good weekend!”
— Guest columnist Anthony Pittman