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Jonathan Turley begins: "Louis XIV of France was infamous for his view that there was no distinction between himself and the state, allegedly proclaiming 'L'Etat, c'est moi' ('I am the State'). That notorious merging of personality with an institution was again on display in a February speech by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas before the conservative Federalist Society."

Clarence and Virginia Thomas share a good laugh with attendees at a Utah Supreme Court swearing-in ceremony, 07/19/10. (photo: AP)
Clarence and Virginia Thomas share a good laugh with attendees at a Utah Supreme Court swearing-in ceremony, 07/19/10. (photo: AP)



Clarence Thomas' Dangerous Conceit

By Jonathan Turley, Los Angeles Times

06 March 11

 

The Supreme Court justice argues that criticism of him is an attack on the court itself. But a single justice doesn't define the institution.

 

ouis XIV of France was infamous for his view that there was no distinction between himself and the state, allegedly proclaiming "L'État, c'est moi" ("I am the State"). That notorious merging of personality with an institution was again on display in a February speech by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas before the conservative Federalist Society.

Thomas used the friendly audience to finally address a chorus of criticism over his alleged conflicts of interest and violation of federal disclosure rules concerning his wife's income. Rather than answer these questions, however, Thomas denounced his critics as "undermining" the court and endangering the country by weakening core institutions.

In January, Common Cause released documents showing that Thomas had attended events funded by conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch. Thomas was even featured in Koch promotional material - along with Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others - for events that sought financial and political support for conservative political causes.

Worse yet, Common Cause discovered that Thomas had failed to disclose a source of income for 13 years on required federal forms. Thomas stated that his wife, Virginia, had no income, when in truth she had hundreds of thousands of dollars of income from conservative organizations, including roughly $700,000 from the Heritage Foundation between 2003 and 2007. Thomas reported "none" in answering specific questions about "spousal non-investment income" on annual forms - answers expressly made "subject to civil and criminal sanctions."

In the interests of full disclosure, I was consulted by Common Cause before the release of the Thomas documents. I found the violations regarding Virginia Thomas' income particularly alarming.

Virginia Thomas was receiving money from groups that had expressed direct interest in the outcome of cases that came before her husband, including Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, in which the court in 2010 struck down limitations on corporate contributions to elections.

A justice is expressly required by federal law to recuse himself from any case "in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned." This law specifically requires recusal when he knows that "his spouse … has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding."

The financial disclosure forms are meant to assist the public in determining conflicts of interest. Though Thomas clearly could argue that his wife's ties to these organizations were not grounds for recusal, he denied the court and the public the ability to fully evaluate those conflicts at the time. Instead, Thomas misled the public for years on the considerable wealth he and his wife were accumulating from ideological groups.

After Common Cause detailed the violations, Thomas simply wrote a brief letter to the court saying that the information was "inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions."

It is unclear how Thomas will rule in the next case in which an individual is accused of a failure to disclose on tax or other government forms. Thomas is viewed as one of the least sympathetic justices to such defenses. Indeed, last year, he joined a decision in Jerman vs. Carlisle that rejected a defense from debt collectors that their violations were due to misunderstandings of the requirements of federal law and just "bona fide errors." In rejecting the claim that such errors were not intentional, the court reminded the defendants that "we have long recognized the common maxim, familiar to all minds, that ignorance of the law will not excuse any person, either civilly or criminally."

None of these issues, however, was addressed by Thomas in his speech to the Federalist Society. Instead, Thomas suggested that his critics were endangering freedom by undermining his authority and, by extension, the authority of the court. He insisted that his wife was being attacked because she believes in the same things he does and because they were "focused on defending liberty." He added:

"You all are going to be, unfortunately, the recipients of the fallout from that - that there's going to be a day when you need these institutions to be credible and to be fully functioning to protect your liberties.... And that's long after I'm gone, and that could be either a short or a long time, but you're younger, and it's still going to be a necessity to protect the liberties that you enjoy now in this country."

That was Thomas' Louis XIV moment. Thomas appears to have finally merged his own personality with the institution itself. Thus, any criticism - even criticism that he is harming the court - is an attack on the institution. It is more than an embarrassing conceit; it can be a dangerous delusion for any justice.

The Supreme Court is not composed of nine Atlas-like jurists holding up justice in the United States. Rather, the foundations are laid in the rule of law, which speaks to all Americans in the same voice. The court is "credible," to use Thomas' word, because it is not the extension of the jurists themselves but the law that they are required to follow.

"I am the Court" sounds little better than "I am the State." We will continue to "enjoy" the liberties of this nation not by the grace or grandeur of Justice Thomas but by the simple triumph of principle over personalities.


Jonathan Turley is as professor of law at George Washington University, where he teaches a class on the Supreme Court.

 

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+123 # Jim Rocket 2011-03-06 21:34
I don't know if what he is doing is illegal, but I do know that no honest, ethical judge would ever behave this way.
 
 
+54 # rf 2011-03-07 06:16
I believe that if you or I lied on federal disclosure documents for 13 years running, we would be in jail. This guy shop be thrown out...the Repubs started it when they went after Clinton...let's return the favor.
 
 
+34 # DaveW. 2011-03-07 08:44
Jim Rocket, Federal Income tax evasion IS illegal. In all 50 states. Thomas should be impeached and sitting in a jail cell rather than making decisions that might send others there. Its that simple. You or I do what he's done and either we pay the money or go to jail. These judges are NOT royalty. They are "public servants" who swear to "uphold justice" not subvert it. He also has NO BUSINESS endorsing groups whose cases might come before the bench. This is conventional wisdom. Obama surely knows this. Better to keep Brad Manning in solitary then send Thomas a pink slip.
 
 
+6 # Citizen Calm 2011-03-07 17:24
It hasn't been clear from the reporting whether or not he declared this income on his tax returns. He clearly hid it on his federal disclosure forms which he is legally required to file. So at least that would be considered as a flagrant disregard for the law he is sworn to uphold.
 
 
+138 # DaveM 2011-03-06 21:56
Justice Thomas' excuse for repeated ethical and legal violations appears to be "I didn't know what I was doing". How far would this same claim get the average defendant accused in court of similar misconduct? And if a Supreme Court Justice truly "does not know" how to fill out financial disclosure forms, should we not be asking whether he is qualified to hold a position on the Supreme Court?
 
 
+25 # Lee Black 2011-03-07 08:49
I think it's obvious that Thomas knew what he was doing - he did it in the fear that disclosure would mean his being challenged on not recusing himself. 13 years of saying his wife had no income when that was what they are living on?
 
 
+72 # kitster 2011-03-06 22:03
where's the obama justice department? high crimes and misdemeanors by the high are sloughed off (as in the case of bush and his culpable cabal of 4). bradley manning rots in solitary and sleeps without clothes...witho ut charge. where is the justice in that? madame lafarge, to your knitting needles...it's time for the citizens of the u.s. to administer justice to the jerks who run this county for the rich.
 
 
+6 # Cari 2011-03-07 09:45
AMEN, Sister.
 
 
+67 # DPM 2011-03-06 22:05
He needs to be held in as much contempt as the Koch's, Murdoch's and the other corporate criminals. Maybe more, as he is passing judicial judgment on others.
He needs to be impeached. Something we should all be speaking about. Be sure to send this article to your friends.
 
 
+19 # Evelyn Button 2011-03-07 08:07
I am so surprised that our Justice Dept has faled to make any noise about this law breaking judge. What is happening to our country? Do we have to march on The Capital to get any attention about this matter?
 
 
+13 # Lola 2011-03-07 11:42
Evelyn, honey with all due respect where have you been 'hangin out' the last 10 yrs?
As long as he is Republican everyone will turn a blind eye to it. Nothing will happen to him. Now if he were a Democrat, that would be a horse (donkey) of a different story, he would have already left his seat in disgrace.
 
 
+3 # artemis133 2011-03-07 18:47
March on the Capitol? For real, they wouldn't pay any mind at all to it anyway! (I know, I've marched there)
 
 
+3 # Jon_Roland 2011-03-06 22:12
Wrong monarch for the quote. Louis XV, not XIV.
 
 
+46 # Anna Rayne-Levi 2011-03-06 22:21
Clarence Thomas' ugly name will long be forgotten soon (unless it is as the name of the perjurer judge and the sexual predator justice). History scholars will hail Anita Hill and the lone pubic hair found on the infamous coca-cola can, as an example of sexism and abuse of power. Thomas will be, and is already, an insignificant miscreant-- a blight on a declining American institution and a disgrace to Black, White and people of all colors. He gives the Baptist people a black eye. I have taught my 13 year old son all about "Justice" Thomas. My Bar Mitzvah son who loves most African Americans, with a couple of exceptions. My son tells me that Thomas is WAY beyond an Uncle Tom. We are Jews--My son likens Thomas to the folks who traded Jews into the Nazis for a few pieces of silver or gold. About his wife and her illegal activities, I am not allowed to use his words of shame & horror.
 
 
+2 # bjw 2011-03-07 09:00
"He gives Baptist people a black eye."

Why would that be the case? Justice Thomas is a Catholic and a produce of Catholic schools. All but two of the Justices are Catholic and those are Jewish.

On top of that, blaming entire large groups for the misdeeds of one who identifies himself as a member of that group is a common fallacy.

In the case, it would have been just as logical (or rather illogical)to say Justice Thomas gives the Jewish people a black eye.
 
 
+2 # Gary Ray Pierson 2011-03-07 14:55
In the case, it would have been just as logical (or rather illogical) to say Justice Thomas gives the Jewish people a black eye.
Baptist, Jews, Jim Jones, keep religion out of politics.. It's not called Myth for nothing... Look up, Myth and Mythology by, Joseph Campbell.. And if any one should pay taxes, it's religious institutions too... Lots of money.. They could actually, put their money where their mouth is... Helping people hands on with food, shelter, not saving them from some mythical place.. Lots of huge churches out there that stay empty a lot.. Room for the poor, meek and hungry... I just made a lot of people mad huh? God's not mad at me.. And, they just don't make Jews like Jesus any more... religion, sheesh.. Ok, who does God look like if we were made in his image? A white dude? Chinese? Were all creatures of God and represent him... So ya better be good, ya better not cry and you better watch out.. You know why? MIND CONTROL. I believe in God... LIGHT! garyray
 
 
+2 # DaveW. 2011-03-07 20:41
Gary Ray, Pretty good! A lot of people are just more comfortable dealing in fantasies than reality. Take away organized religion and people would actually have to be responsible for their actions. God doesn't sanction home runs, touchdowns or financial swindles. He doesn't march with ANY army into war. Maybe he is a she. Maybe God is just your conscience telling you the difference between right and wrong. Maybe God is a figment of the collective imaginations of humankind who simply can't face the fact that death is the last chapter. Maybe God delivered your pizza tonight. Who the hell knows? God is the first star you see at night and the last kiss you get before you die. He's the will to live or the desire to die. Perhaps God is a mother, waiting on the porch with a yardstick, ready to spank the bejesus out of an eternity's worth of naughty kids. Scripture was written by men, a man of the cloth could double as bartender and praying is the equivalent of hoping wishes come true. Jesus was just a man who had compassion in an age (much like our own)when compassion was out of style. He now serves as a figurehead for nefarious people who use his likeness for their own self-aggrandizi ng purposes. You said it Gary. MIND CONTROL. Better yet RELIGION=MIND CONTROL. Why think when "God" has a plan. Now they can all be mad at both of us. madlibpoet.com is my blog.Feedback welcome.
 
 
+63 # scottmk 2011-03-06 22:24
I dream of the day when the People -- and I don't mean the Tea Party -- will rise up and throw all of these Corporatist bums out on their collective rears. Scott Walker, Clarence Thomas, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Boehner, McConnell, et cetera, ad nauseam.
 
 
+6 # Lesabre 2011-03-07 08:24
I'm affraid we are already too weak. They own us like slaves and let us have just enough freedom to fool us into thinkng this is still a democratic country.
 
 
+15 # Lady Marion 2011-03-06 22:30
"L'État, c'est moi" LouisIV, Thomas, Khadaffi. What does this tell us?
 
 
+27 # Ken Hall 2011-03-06 23:10
Not qualified to be on the SCOTUS.
 
 
+30 # C E Krause 2011-03-06 23:22
Throw Thomas OUT! Stop this namby-pamby treatment of criminals!!! Pubic hairs on the lid of a coke can - GAWD. He shouldn't have gotten where he is, but it's never too late to throw him OUT!!! DO IT!
 
 
+11 # Lesabre 2011-03-07 08:30
I'm with you, ....but uh, there is not a Democrat that has the nerve to bring it up and if there were he couldn't find enough support to make a good try. We have a bunch of spineless weassels in office that are even affraid to call a filibuster on a bill eventhough the R's do it every day.
 
 
+36 # maddave 2011-03-06 23:52
Two points to consider:
1. I submit that neither Thomas nor his wife prepares the Thomas' joint tax returns. Such work is typically done (on their level) by a CPA . . . whose profession it is to know all about those forms. IF the income were NOT reported on their returns, then the Thomas' did not report the income to their CPA . . . which is a basic form of criminal income tax evasion.
2. What's the old saw about scoundrels wrapping themselves in the flag? If so, then wouldn't wrapping oneself in the black robes and hiding behind the bench of the Supreme Court (to defer just questions & criticism) also define a scoundrel?
 
 
+6 # Pat Williams 2011-03-08 06:40
It's my understanding that Thomas had initially reported his wife's income on the disclosure forms until he stopped thirteen years ago. It also should be noted that Justice Clarence Thomas is an attorney. Ignorance of the law claimed by a Supreme Court justice trained in the law and accepted at the bar is positively ludicrous. He should be prosecuted accordingly. The law has teeth and must be enforced.
 
 
+41 # X Dane 2011-03-07 00:04
I red the article in LA Times and expected that you would print it here. Can we FINALLY impeach this disgusting excuse for a Supreme Court Justice.

No citizen would be able to get away with what he did.
As a judge his guilt is DOUBLE, FOR HE IS A JUDGE AND KNOWS THE LAW. If he does NOT he sure does not belong on the high court.
OUT he goes, and good riddance
 
 
+17 # Riley1 2011-03-07 00:23
Under normal circumstances, a Supreme Court justice is awarded a lifetime commission.A Supreme Court Justice may be impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office if convicted in a Senate trial, but only for the same types of offenses that would trigger impeachment proceedings under Article I and Article II.
Clarence Thomas was appointed by a democratic administration with tacit support of a few Republicans.He enjoys security of tenure regardless. Thomas now supports such nasty right wing endevours of the Koch brothers.With Republican support in the senate He will sit pretty till he passes this mortal coil whether he be incompetent or criminally deviant for political expediency.Amer icans do not have a legal system.They in fact have a political system.God save America .
 
 
+13 # Jane McGinnis 2011-03-07 08:55
Clarence Thomas was nominated by Republican President H.R. Bush - not a Democratic administration as you stated.
 
 
+10 # X Dane 2011-03-07 09:14
Riley I think you are remembering wrong. Thomas was appointed by George Bush senior. I remember the heated hearings well, and Anita Hills testifying.
 
 
+12 # BradFromSalem 2011-03-07 12:15
And why can't we have impeachment hearings? Why shouldn't America and future Justices find out if current law allows a sitting Supreme to NOT recuse his/her self in a case that they have either an ideological or financial interest?

Lets keep impeaching and prosecuting all high level criminal acts. Because we MUST.
 
 
+34 # KMC 2011-03-07 00:35
If he can't understand and follow simple directions to disclose "own or spousal income from any source" for 13 years in a row, then he is not smart enough to be deciding complicated court cases and should resign ASAP...

Justice Abe Fortas had to resign from the US Supreme Court when his impartiality and honesty were found to be questionable, so let's do it again!!
 
 
+17 # Anthony J. Mendonca 2011-03-07 00:45
Clarence Thomas' basal dishonesty is signaled not only by his recent responses to charges of ethics violations, but also by the tremendous contradictions between his pre-appointment and post-appointmen t behaviors. He simply has no recollection of where he came from!
 
 
+19 # Chasiboy 2011-03-07 00:56
Ignorance of the law is no excuse. What is happening about Virginia Thomas' income for the past 13 years where the Justice reported that his wife had no income? It would seem that there are plenty of back taxes and penalties to be paid.
 
 
+6 # bjw 2011-03-07 09:09
Apparently, there is no penalty for failure to disclose income on these forms as there is on IRS forms. Justice Thomas had to have known this all along. We do not know what he did or did not report to the IRS, but my guess is that he and his wife were more careful than those disclosed to the public.

What politician is going to vote to change that loophole?
 
 
+14 # Hors-D-whores 2011-03-07 01:15
How can not claiming that much income be legal? This seems to me a case for the IRS and then Thomas being impeached for what is obvious a conflict of interest with many of the cases he has judged on, especially Citizens United. On that bases shouldn't the whole case be thrown out?
 
 
+4 # bjw 2011-03-07 09:10
Disclosure forms are not IRS forms. No penalty for these public forms. No proof required, and no audits.
 
 
+17 # Ralph Averill 2011-03-07 01:51
"inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstandin g of the filing instructions."
Putting aside for a moment that ignorance is no excuse, a man who studies and rules on complex legal issues cannot "fail to understand filing instructions." Not for seven years. The very statement is an admission that Thomas is not competent to sit on the court, or he is lying. I vote for both.
 
 
+11 # Palli 2011-03-07 04:56
Question: Do the two wage earners in the Thomas family file separate income tax forms? Is the income listed in those forms?

A powerful graphic would be the actual forms with Thomas mark saying none. Has this been done? All Americans would understand the idea of a deliberate lie on a government form.
 
 
+18 # fhunter 2011-03-07 05:00
Mr. Turley is too kind to In-Justice Thomas, when he writes that Thomas "failed to disclose"... He did not fail to disclose, he LIED knowingly, intentionally! Impeach and put him in jail.
 
 
+14 # Artful 2011-03-07 05:08
Well, we know the answer to the question posed by DaveM. Thomas is clearly not qualified to hold his current position as a justice of the Supreme Court. He remains what has been from the beginning, a flunky tied at the brain to his superior and owner, Justice Scalia. the two have corrupted the court in p;rofound ways. We can only guess as to when or if the Court will be able to recover--certai nly not as long as these two are on the Court.
 
 
+10 # SouthBrun 2011-03-07 05:15
Pubic hair on a coke can...NONE
Monies paid to spouse......NONE
Picture of Clarence & wife laughing at us
...........................PRICELESS
 
 
+11 # rm 2011-03-07 05:25
I don't see that Thomas is any worse than the rest of the neo-cons on the court -- esp. the former chief judge Rehnquist. The conservatives who now run the US government are horrifically corrupt in just the way Thomas is. They seem to believe that they have a right to loot the public wealth. Maybe Dick Cheney was the worst of all role models.
 
 
+17 # Palli 2011-03-07 05:32
Let's be blunt here.
The Federal Financial Disclosure document:
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/144336main_fr450fill_04-3.pdf
The instructions say:

“Report all assets for you, your spouse, and dependent children...”

in bold type 3 different times. The actual form to complete repeats it at each of 3 sections, again in bold type.

This is not a misunderstandin g or mis-reading of the requirement (unless Carence Thomas is illiterate).
 
 
+5 # bjw 2011-03-07 09:12
What is the penalty for failure to disclose income on these forms?
 
 
+2 # Palli 2011-03-07 05:34
Clarence
 
 
+12 # LegacyCost 2011-03-07 05:54
Tis a sad day indeed for the Supreme Court of the United States to have such partisans on the bench. Will equal justice under the law ever be restored? With the aforementioned arrest and detention of persons without charge or due process I fear we have lost the very liberty Justice Thomas clains to be the defender of.....its all self serving rhetoric.
 
 
+19 # alice 2011-03-07 05:59
I still remember Justice Thomas's failure to recuse himself from a large Monsanto case. He had worked as a corporate attorney for Monsanto. To me, that said it all.
 
 
+19 # A. Lazar 2011-03-07 06:04
Clarence Thomas is a disgrace, an incompetent lawyer, unethical judge and a traitor to his roots. His lack of scholarship is reflected in echoing what other members of the court state. Even that he has failed to do in recent years as reported in the NYTimes. People who cannot think creatively claim adherence to literal reading of ancient texts, the Bible, the Constitution, the Quran, etc. That is the easiest alibi.
 
 
+4 # Gary Ray Pierson 2011-03-07 06:30
Justice is blind and crooked.. Bought and sold to the highest bidder.. And if any has noticed, lawyers lie and the rich get scolded and the poor go to jail.. Equality as far as the GOP is concerned.. Their all off their rockers.. I love the cartoon that shows Bush walking and pointing and it says," I f**ked you all.. But thanks for blaming it on the black guy.. By the way, if the half white Obama does any thing to bring justice for Bushes atrocities.. He'll die.. JFK... I still think we should've gave the mess back to the repuglicans last election so every one will know.. Where the CRAP comes from.. An elephant craps a lot compared to a donkey.. I'd rather dig thru donkey s**t, than an elephants.. Pachyderms leave one hell of a pile, for some one else to clean up so they can do it again without drowning in their own s**t.. formally. Cpl. Pierson, 101st Airborne, Vietnam....
 
 
+14 # frharry 2011-03-07 06:32
"I don't know if what he is doing is illegal, but I do know that no honest, ethical judge would ever behave this way."

The ABA Canons require that lawyers not only avoid illegal activities but also any which have "the appearance of impropriety." These activities are well beyond that standard.
 
 
+22 # sinig88 2011-03-07 06:52
All of the comments I have made in the past are at last coming true. I have often intimated that the Senate members of the US Congress erred mightly when they allowed the likes of Supreme Ct Judge Roberts and Samuel Alito become lifetime Supreme Court Justices. These two members of the Supreme Ct Lied in their teeth when they were being questioned by the Senate members before they were installed as Justices. Everyone can see that now that they have made some decisons in this same Court. They have followed the same line as Scalia, and Thomas, and frankly all of them should be impeached, since they broke a Law that said Corporations could not give any financial aid to any Political party or individual running for State of Government office. In the 2010 elections just passed, the money that corporations gave to the GOP or the TEA PARTY was astronomical... Since when was a Corporation an individual???? No way is this legal....Clearl y Justice Roberts, Thomas, Scalia should all be brought up for impeachment.... .
 
 
+6 # Lesabre 2011-03-07 08:38
We are just preaching to the choir here. It makes us feel good to vent, but I don't know what else it helps.
 
 
+10 # w wheelock 2011-03-07 06:59
How low can we go? No end in sight if something is not done to stop the escalating rush into fascism. This excuse for a judge and disgrace to the judicial system must be impeached. Btter force him to resign as impeachment would never get past the fascist-control led HR to even indict him. Most if not all the co-conspirators on the court should be replaced as they have defiled every sense of human decency in the recent decision 8-1 to allow the Kansas church bigots to desecrate funerals of anyone they happen to hate.
 
 
-2 # TQ White II 2011-03-07 07:00
We hate him because we hate our freedom!!
 
 
+7 # Lesabre 2011-03-07 08:40
We just think we have freedom. We are slaves to the to the corporate boards behind the curtain.
 
 
+10 # w wheelock 2011-03-07 07:08
The people who voted for Obama thinking him some kind of messiah to deliver us from the evil of the Bush years have been sorely disppointed. You cannot repair all that damage overnight. You cannot do anything without the support of Congress and both parties are the puppets of Wall Street. Nonetheless we are not seeing anything done by the White House but to allow abuses to continue. We the people must demand that the Commander in Chief either step UP or step DOWN! As Ben Franklin said, "if we do not hang together, we will certainly hang seperately@ and fall to the predatory powers on Wall Street!
 
 
+20 # granny 2011-03-07 07:24
Clarence Thomas, one of the Catholic mafia on the Supreme Court, is a disgrace to the Catholic religion and a disgrace to this country. He is a sexual abuser, a tax-welfare cheat, a liar, and a stupid fake who is too lazy to do his own study and relies on his clerks to do the work he is paid for. Maybe he is too busy to do the Court work, since he is running around the country giving speeches to right-wing groups and gathering the bribe money needed to build his wife's fortune.
 
 
+9 # burglar 2011-03-07 07:30
Thomas probably did not do his own taxes so the person that provided the information to the IRS was told by Thomas that there was no income from his wife. Not a misunderstandin g but a lie.
 
 
+2 # bjw 2011-03-07 09:15
These are not IRS forms.
 
 
+11 # bjw 2011-03-07 09:25
It's clear Justice Thomas has sidestepped the requirements to disclose his wife's income as required and is not in the least worried about any consequences. He really does consider himself exceptional and above the law.

Now, what will be done about it now that it's clear and public. What are the chances for more than complaining on boards like this and a few legal columns? Will the Republican House do one thing towards a bill to impeach? Will Thomas resign or change his attitude? I see no chance.
 
 
+15 # Linda 2011-03-07 07:40
US Supreme Court justices may be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors," just like the President.

The constitutional language is vague enough to allow the House of Representatives to bring Articles of Impeachment for any form of impropriety, from commission of crime to obstructing justice to ethics violations. The House may also impeach for abuse of public office (e.g., profiting from, or helping someone else to profit from, confidential information; failing to disclose a conflict of interest, accepting payment for speaking engagements, etc.) or any action considered detrimental to the government's interest.

I do believe the fact he was invited by Koch to a fund raiser and his wife has accepted money from Koch industries is a direct violation of The justices Code Of Conduct as well as reasons in our Constitution to have him impeached.
 
 
+9 # Lesabre 2011-03-07 08:42
We just don't have any Democrats with guts enough to stand up and say "You Lied" and make it stick.
 
 
+6 # Lesabre 2011-03-07 08:44
Gutless Democrats all. Stand up and say "You Lied" and take control of the issue for once!
 
 
+6 # AML 2011-03-07 12:33
I notice deafening silence from the GOP as well. Are we citizens the only ones wanting to address this?????
 
 
+5 # Anarchist 23 2011-03-07 08:14
For a SCOTUS justice who has never opened his mouth on the bench, Thomas certainly has a high opinion of himself. How long will the people accept what has been done to them? I have been waiting for some sort of reaction for 40 years-and still TPTB are grinding people and freedom into the dust!
 
 
+8 # genierae 2011-03-07 08:21
"embarassing conceit"? "dangerous delusion"? I don't think so. I think that Justice Thomas knows full well that he is running afoul of the law. Does a criminal believe his own alibi? These right-wingers often get credit for believing their own lies, which serves to soften their image, but I think they are more diabolical than that. They know exactly what they are doing. They should be charged with treason.
 
 
+7 # Brewsir 2011-03-07 08:45
Justice Thomas, like so many others, appears to be quite capable of carrying a grudge. That there also seems to be some self hate involved, must make it easier for him to do some of these activities that all fly in the face of common sense. The late Justice Marshall's expressed disappointment in this man remains appropriate. He is, like Limbaugh, Beck and others of his associates, grinning all the way to the bank.
 
 
+4 # poppy 2011-03-07 08:55
Do we know if Thomas prepared his own tax return? I would doubt it. Surely most professional tax preparers know how to fill out the forms. Help is available FOR FREE for most seniors. (In)justice Thomas had lots of options before lying for 13 years running and then expecting the rest of us who pay taxes to cut him some slack.

I'm disgusted at his actions and his nerve in thinking he can get away with this by comments that demean the questioner and the issue.
 
 
+11 # Elmer L. Pierre 2011-03-07 09:10
Anyone recall the Thomas rejoinder to the Anita Hill, et. al. allegations of sexual harrassment when he did not respond but instead accused the accusers of forming a lynch mob? The man has zero capacity for self-examinatio n but slips into sociapthy by seizing upon martyrdom
as a resonse.
 
 
-19 # Jon_Roland 2011-03-07 11:03
It's interesting that so many attack the one member of the U.S. Supreme Court who actually follows the Constitution. There seem to be a lot of enemies of the Constitution on this forum.
 
 
+10 # BradFromSalem 2011-03-07 12:35
And how does Clarence Thomas "follow the Constitution" of the United States of America, while most of the people here do not?

I really would love to hear what you have to say? I could use a good laugh.
 
 
+1 # Ken Hall 2011-03-09 00:06
Ditto for me, LL!
 
 
+7 # angelfish 2011-03-07 12:15
He is convicted out of his own mouth! The Psychiatric term for what he professes is called "Projection", he also suffers from Delusions of Grandeur and applies attributes to himself that do NOT exist in fact. What IS know of him, is that he is a PERVERT and self-serving slime ball who has denigrated the Court since his appointment! He is also a liar re: he "Inadvertently" left off his wife's ill gotten gains from his tax returns after listing some on previous ones, he is guilty none the less! IMPEACH him and the rest of his ilk who manipulate the Law to serve themselves and their Mega-wealthy Masters!
 
 
+7 # stonecutter 2011-03-07 12:32
Where the hell is the rule of law and accountability in this matter? What is going on in the Justice Dept? Is there an investigation under way? What if anything has the Attorney General of the United States said about this matter? The Attorney General appears to be next to invisible in this administration. ..it is beyond disgusting...no ethical standard on SCOTUS? He, Thomas, "misunderstood" the filing instructions for spousal income in the hundreds of thousands of dollars? This guy is a human stain on the Court, and ought to be impeached immediately.
 
 
+4 # M Heckman 2011-03-07 13:56
The Supreme claims ignorance of the law? How simple can it be? Fire him for cause, trial, punish him and his wife. It's an embarrassment to America.
 
 
+3 # wanda landreth 2011-03-07 14:44
Impeach him and put his wife in jail!!!!
 
 
+4 # jpitre 2011-03-07 14:49
Thomas needs some jail time and also needs to be fired in disgrace.

Now!
 
 
+2 # DIAMONDMARGE 2011-03-07 14:53
Here in Columbia, SC, umpteen yrs ago, a great group of women lawyers-Democra ts all-started an annual October "women's get-together" The banner they hung over the entrance to that first party shouted, "I Believe Anita Hill." IMO, this annual celebration of women has become one of the best, if not THE BEST event our city has to offer.. That aside, anyone with a clear eye saw that CT was lying through his teeth, while Professor Hill was telling the truth. Will no one rid us of this crooked judge? Somebody, please, start a Wisconsin-style protest outside the Court; maybe the other justices will shame this miscreant into resigning?

OTOH, he'll just whine once again, "this is a high-tech lynching!"
 
 
+5 # billybookworm 2011-03-07 16:05
The Robert court's contempt for accepted judicial precedent is exceeded only by its contempt for law in general. If the SCOTUS is being drawn into disrepute it is the fault of 5 judges. Thomas is simply the worst of the 5 as he is openly contemptuous of any government regulation including ethics rules.
 
 
+5 # Maryelizmc 2011-03-07 17:58
If Justice Thomas is intelligent enough to understand the complex issues the Court faces daily, how can he say that for so many years he did not understand the instructions. That is like the dog ate my homework. This is BAD and if legal action is in order, it should be activated. I do not believe any of us could get away with that excuse even if we were blind.
 
 
+2 # Jeff 2011-03-07 22:20
And moist distressing of all, the silence is deafening. When does Justice Thomas face some legal action, an indictment, news of a lawsuit, pressure to resign? All I hear is a lot of people talking about how terrible it is.
 
 
+1 # Gary Ray Pierson 2011-03-08 06:04
Quoting Jeff:
And moist distressing of all, the silence is deafening. When does Justice Thomas face some legal action, an indictment, news of a lawsuit, pressure to resign? All I hear is a lot of people talking about how terrible it is.

It depends what side your own Jeff.. Some people in office are ready to kill for it and some are ready to get voted in.. He's not with the voted in people... So, it just ain't gonna happen.. Certain people are getting away with their way and it's not good for any thing or one.. Republicans trash the planet.. Spineless Democrats stay quiet from fear.... Stand up and get shot down.. Been that way since JFK. And I doubt most of you were alive when that happened..... Don't believe the history books and question authority..... Just say No to tyranny... Say yes to unions and negotiations, or they will starve you.. It's that hole in some peoples soul that can never be filled, greed.. They gotta go.. Cpl. Pierson 101st Vietnam
 
 
+1 # Gary in Midwest 2011-03-08 09:29
He is a disgrace, plain and simple, with not even the intellectual curiosity to ask a single question from the bench in all these years. He asks everytime, "How's my boss-man, Scalia voting? That's how I vote." His "ignorance of the law" excuse is a grave matter for a judge. It demonstrates a dichotomy and a hypocrisy of the law, an us and them mentality and of course, in his eyes, the us can do no wrong but for you or I, I shudder to think how far a claim of ignorance on our part would set with him.
 
 
0 # Gary Ray Pierson 2011-03-08 12:29
Good name. This has nothing to do with the article, but I liked it any way. From my old town of Austin Texas...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElnaO3WQkZc&feature=related Turn it up.. Cpl. Pierson, 101st Vietnam.. Gary, means Spear holder.. Ray, God's light... Good name man.. garyray
 
 
+1 # bigkahuna671 2011-03-09 08:11
What I have trouble getting my head around is that Thomas is supposed to be a strict constructionist , a follower of the letter of the law. How can he justify twisting the rules when obviously everyone but he and his arrogant wife know he's violated the law. He should be impeached for malfeasance, allowable under rules for impeachment of federal judges. Of course, the Republifascist congresspeople will not even consider it, as he is one of their guaranteed 'rubber stamps' in the Supreme Court. Invoking my so-called 2nd Amendment rights and my supposedly guaranteed 1st Amendment rights, I again paraphrase Henry II upon having enough of Thomas a'Becket, "Will no one rid me of this man?" Because of the position he holds, "ignorance of the law" is not a legitimate excuse. THROW THE BUM OUT, NOW!!!
 
 
0 # Riley1 2011-03-09 10:25
Jon_Roland sadly is so out of the loop as to offer such a feeble posting here. He has no idea of about what is being attacked. Let us help him by offering him the truth of what is being debated here, which is open criminality by several justices of the highest court in the land. The US Supreme Court. A Court that is supposed to be balanced in it's judgements.Unfo rtunately it has been hijacked by criminally deviant Justices with a political bias.These legal charlatans all apointees to high office by a mad, bad, and dangerous GOP for political purposes.They are sworn to uphold the law. They have failed in thier duty of care to the American people and warrant impeachment for thier criminality in lying to the State before appoinment. These so called Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alia, and Thomas are accused of high crimes and
misdemeanous.Th omas is suspected of greater criminality when in office.The only option is to bring forward charges and impeachment proceedings. Will that happen. Only if god loves America and grants the American people a miracle.I am realiably informed pigs will fly before that happens . However i try to keep an open mind. Many of us trusted Obama . Look what he is doing to us all .
 
 
0 # erogers 2011-03-10 08:46
Clarence Thomas will never be thrown out. To do so would mean the legal system in America must then crawl up out of the gutter of "legal standards" which they have sunk to and set the definition of legal standards back up to the high level defined as ethics. Then the legal system must apply that standard to all. Call me a pessimist but the evidence against that happening is all around us.
 
 
+1 # Vgirl1 2011-03-10 16:49
This man continues to be a disgrace to the legal profession and the integrity of the most sacred "bench" in the land, namely the Supreme Court.

He is truly an embarassement to that institution and to all legal scholars who aspire to the high court.

He was and always will be the unqualified Republican "token" to the Supreme Court.
 
 
0 # Noosejunkie 2011-03-10 19:32
Liar, liar your pants on fire. Thomas is a disgrace to the bench and the bar. Any ordinary would be investigated and if the charges proved true, would be disbarred, at the least.
 
 
0 # Aygen 2011-03-11 06:04
March 11
How can a Supreme Court Justice "misunderstand filing intructions". Its an oxymoron par excellence. As a post-graduate of Georgetown University Law School, I find Justice Brown's excuse beneath contempt. He should be impeached.
Aygen
Istanbul, Turkey
 
 
0 # George V. Williams 2011-03-17 08:14
"...Justice BROWN"? Who dat? As an African-America n, I am, at this point, quite ready to dismiss him, and to lend my support to impeachment efforts, but, "...Justice Brown"?
 

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