Author Topic: IN DEFENSE OF JUSTICE THOMAS  (Read 198 times)

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Offline SVPete

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IN DEFENSE OF JUSTICE THOMAS
« on: May 04, 2023, 02:44:30 PM »
IN DEFENSE OF JUSTICE THOMAS

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2023/05/in-defense-of-justice-thomas.php
Power Line blog
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... In 1997, Justice Thomas and his wife brought their great nephew to live with them. They agreed to take in this young child much as Justice Thomas’s grandparents had done for him and his brother in 1955. ...

Justice Thomas and his wife made immeasurable personal and financial sacrifices and poured every ounce of their lives and hearts into giving their great nephew a chance to succeed. In the summer of 2006, the Thomases were struggling to find a school where they could send their great nephew. In discussing these challenges with their dear friends, Harlan and Kathy Crow, Harlan recommended that the Thomases consider one more option: sending their great nephew to Randolph Macon Academy. Harlan had attended Randolph Macon, and he thought the school would be a good fit.

Harlan had financially supported Randolph Macon since the 1980s, and funded scholarships for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Harlan offered to pay the first year of Justice Thomas’s great nephew’s tuition in 2006, and that payment went directly to the school. Harlan Crow’s Office confirmed that he did not pay the great nephew’s tuition for any other year at Randolph Macon.
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Harlan Crow’s tuition payments made directly to these schools on behalf of Justice Thomas’s great nephew did not constitute a reportable gift. Justice Thomas was not required to disclose the tuition payments made directly to Randolph Macon and the Georgia school on behalf of his great nephew because the definition of a “dependent child” under the Ethics in Government Act (5 U.S.C. 13101 (2)) does not include a “great nephew.” It is limited to a “son, daughter, stepson or stepdaughter.” ... neither Harlan Crow, nor his company, had any business before the Supreme Court.

For Fair Use reasons, I did not quote to part of the article that mentions a single year that the great nephew spent at a school in GA, the tuition paid by Crow directly to the school. So this kerfuffle has to do with two years of tuition paid by Crow (out of 12 or 13 years), when he had no business before the USSC, that by the Ethics in Government Act was not reportable.

Progs' attempt to Himalayanize a mole hill lacks an actual mole hill. Unsurprisingly.
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Millions now living should have died. Anti-Covid-Vaxxer ghouls hardest hit.

Offline Eupher

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Re: IN DEFENSE OF JUSTICE THOMAS
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2023, 02:54:15 PM »
IIRC, a part of this garbage against Thomas involves one or more "vacations" which a friend had paid for.

Meaning, of course, there is no ethics or legal issue with accepting a gift from a friend, especially since that friend had no business before SCOTUS.

Sotomayor, OTOH, is under scrutiny for a lucrative book deal she accepted from a publisher that DID have business before SCOTUS - and she did not recuse herself.

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Senate Democrats, led by Dick Durbin, seem obsessed these days with supposed appearances of impropriety by conservative Supreme Court justices. Does that concern over the integrity of the court extend to its liberal wing — perhaps to its senior member taking in millions from a conglomerate with repeated cases before the court? A justice who never bothered to recuse herself from them?

The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak dug into Sonia Sotomayor’s financial disclosures and discovered a robust financial relationship with Penguin Randomhouse, her publisher [and full disclosure, also mine].  When the publishing giant had key cases come to the court, Sotomayor never recused — and those cases went away:

In 2010, she got a $1.2 million book advance from Knopf Doubleday Group, a part of the conglomerate. In 2012, she reported receiving two advance payments from the publisher totaling $1.9 million.

In 2013, Sotomayor voted in a decision for whether the court should hear a case against the publisher called Aaron Greenspan v. Random House, despite then-fellow Justice Stephen Breyer recusing after also receiving money from the publisher. Greenspan was a Harvard classmate of Mark Zuckerberg’s who wrote a book about the founding of Facebook and contended that Random House rejected his book proposal and then awarded a deal to another author who copied his book and eventually turned it into the movie The Social Network.

In 2017, Sotomayor began receiving payments each year from Penguin Random House itself, which continued annually through at least 2021, the most recent disclosure available, and totaled more than $500,000. In all, she received $3.6 million from Penguin Random House or its subsidiaries, according to a Daily Wire tally of financial disclosures.

In October 2019, children’s author Jennie Nicassio petitioned the Supreme Court to hear her lawsuit against Penguin Random House alleging that the book publisher had copied her book by selling one that was nearly identical. On the same day that the petition was distributed to the justices, Sotomayor received a $10,586 check from the publisher.

Stephen Breyer also received a healthy amount of income from Penguin Randomhouse, but on a far lower scale than Sotomayor, Rosiak reports. However, Breyer recused himself from cases involving his publisher. We know this because recusals are always publicly declared, even if votes on cert applications are not. We don’t know how Sotomayor voted on these decisions to hear appeals, but we know that Sotomayor voted on them despite the clear and rather massive conflict of interest.

Sotomayor’s defenders will push back on this by claiming that she at least disclosed those payments, while Clarence Thomas never disclosed his travel arrangements and other personal gifts from Harlan Crow. That is a red herring, however. In the first place, the disclosure rules for the Supreme Court didn’t require Thomas to make those disclosures, although they do now.  In the second place, Crow didn’t have business before the Supreme Court, so there was no conflict of interest at all.

To claim that Thomas is an equal or worse violator of ethics as Sotomayor is to invert the entire purpose of disclosure and ethics. They exist to prevent the court’s members from acting on behalf of their own financial interests. Even if Crow’s significant generosity could have inclined Thomas to do so, the opportunity never arose. Sotomayor repeatedly cast votes on cases that directly involved a conglomerate paying her millions of dollars, and with whom she had a continuing business relationship. Penguin Randomhouse has published a series of Sotomayor’s books, with the latest children’s book coming out just last year.

And who knows whether they may publish another from Sotomayor? Perhaps the answer lies in the court’s docket!

If this sudden obsession with Supreme Court ethics and disclosure is on the level, the Senate Judiciary Committee will shift its attention to Sotomayor. If it doesn’t, then Durbin et al will expose their efforts as nothing more than a political smear job intended to intimidate Supreme Court justices whose rulings they dislike. Bet on the latter, because that is exactly what this has been all along.

Addendum: ProPublica is out with another hit piece on Thomas this morning, which is just as threadbare as its earlier “Clarence has a billionaire buddy” hit piece. Molly Hemingway demolishes it, and then asks a question that needs an answer:

(The usual Twitter crap)


https://hotair.com/ed-morrissey/2023/05/04/while-were-talking-scotus-ethics-what-about-sotomayors-n548353
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