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Brady reports: "The group of 20 House Democrats led by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the U.S. Judicial Conference, the governing body for federal courts, saying that Thomas has failed to report the income of his wife, Virginia, who earned $700,000 from 2003 to 2007 while working at the Heritage Foundation, according to news reports."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (photo: Getty Images)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (photo: Getty Images)

Democrats Call for Inquiry of Clarence Thomas

By Jessica Brady, Roll Call

30 September 11


group of House Democrats alleging that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas violated ethics rules by failing to report his wife's income called for a federal investigation into the matter today.

The group of 20 House Democrats led by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the U.S. Judicial Conference, the governing body for federal courts, saying that Thomas has failed to report the income of his wife, Virginia, who earned $700,000 from 2003 to 2007 while working at the Heritage Foundation, according to news reports.

The letter came just days before the Supreme Court returns for the new session, during which it is expected to consider a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Obama administration's sweeping health care law. With such high-profile issues on the horizon for the court, the lawmakers wrote, "it is vital that the Judicial Conference actively pursue any suspicious actions by Supreme Court Justices."

"Justice Thomas's failure to disclose his wife's income for his entire tenure on the federal bench and indications that he may have failed to file additional disclosure regarding his travels require the Judicial Conference to refer this matter to the Department of Justice," the group wrote in a letter to the secretary of the Judicial Conference.

The lawmakers also suggest the issue should be taken up by Attorney General Eric Holder if the Judicial Conference determines that Thomas purposely failed to report his income and that of his wife. In its letter, the group cites a New York Times report that Thomas "benefited from use of a private yacht and airplane" owned by Texas real estate tycoon Harlan Crow but "failed to disclose this travel as a gift or travel reimbursement on his federal disclosure forms."

In a statement, Slaughter said, "The Attorney General would be the appropriate person to investigate the issue of non-disclosure, and that is why my colleagues and I are making this request today.

"I cannot determine guilt or innocence, but I can request that the government do our due diligence in investigating a situation that strikes me, and many other Members of Congress, as suspicious," the New York Democrat added. your social media marketing partner


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+189 # Kayjay 2011-09-30 15:03
These democrats and their awareness of Thomas's shenanigans may be late to the party, but I hope it leads to extreme embarrassment or impeachment of said rat. Anything less than an ouster from the bench, (ie. a slap on the wrist), only leads to these elites snickering and toasting their corrupt status quo while puffing stogies at a country club. Implementing impeachment would send a message to these scumbags that corruption will be curtailed.... meaning an end to their careers.
+179 # Barbara K 2011-09-30 15:33
If this were a Democrat and a Democratic thing, you can be sure the teabaggers and republicans would be whining, screaming and gnashing their teeth over it. This guy gives the Supreme Court a bad name and destroyed the integrity of the SC and he should be removed immediately.
+54 # BobbyLip 2011-09-30 15:36
No doubt the relevant instruction on the disclosure form was obscured by a curly hair.
+74 # latinleo 2011-09-30 15:45
It's about time someone ask that the House be cleaned!
+149 # MainStreetMentor 2011-09-30 15:48
Now ... FINALLY ... We find a representative with a political SPINE! Accolades to you Representative Slaughter ... lets see what the Attorneys General does with it ...
+46 # Regina 2011-09-30 16:42
It takes a woman!!! Thomas's theme song will become Geez Louise.
+66 # noitall 2011-09-30 16:00
Seems unlikly anything will come of this, given our recent experience. AND, I'm not so sure I could stand another disappointment in who Mr. Obama's choice might be IF this dog is put off the SC. Roberts should be tossed too for lying his way onto the court. If I remember, he promised he wouldn't move to undo long-standing precidence in law, then he inserted this B.S. of corporations being people. That seems to have turned our world on its ear. I would think that it is not too much to at least believe that our Supreme Court Justices were above telling lies. It is not so difficult to do. Its one of those things you learn at a very young age.
+90 # 2011-09-30 16:09
Justice Thomas has been a disgrace to te Court since he was approved after the doubts of his integrity were raised in te Anita Hill controversy. His bias and lack of judicial ethics on the Court has been a constant source of national embarrassment. Although these claims being made to the
U. S. Judicial Conference are very late, the Department of Justice must either act or prove itself irrelevant. Compared to cases of corruption and willful bias at the Court in the past Thomas' actions are beyond suspicion and certainly beyond mere "appearance" of ethical misconduct and probably are criminal.
+57 # MEBrowning 2011-09-30 16:16
Joe Biden presided over the Judiciary Committee hearings during the Clarence Thomas nomination. His initial address to Thomas and the committee members on Sept. 10, 1991, is well worth reading. Thomas should never have been a Supreme Court justice.
+51 # wwway 2011-09-30 16:18
The Obama administration has missed many opportunites to investigate offences against what really matters to democracy. In contrast, house Republicans actively pursue investigations that don't matter, like Planned Parenthood, and the like. It really is about time but it may be too late.
+40 # Todd Williams 2011-09-30 16:22
This dude has been a rat fink since the Anita Hill debacle. He should have never gotten in and now he should be expelled ASAP! Besides bing a far right stooge, he doesn't appear to be too bright and he's certainly not respected by his fellow Spremes inluding arch conservatives. DOUBLE LOSER!
+73 # angelfish 2011-09-30 16:25
It's a joke, right? I mean, really? No, REALLY? At LONG last a POOBAH is making an inquiry into the Moral and legal lapses of one of, if not, THE most pitiful Justices EVER appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States? Wouldn't it be a kick to see the rest of Congress grow some Cojones and call the other four out for their blatant Favoritism and Patronage to the Koch brothers and their Mega-Gazilliona ire Compadres? I want to see them argue in PUBLIC exactly HOW a Corporation is a "person". If they are "people", why don't they pay Taxes like the rest of us? The ENTIRE "Gang of Five" should be impeached and/or heavily censured for their partisanship and legislating from the Bench. It really doesn't matter in the long run, History will show them up for WHO and WHAT they are, Traitors to the American way of life and Toadies to the Rich and Powerful! Justice WILL be served!
+58 # universlman 2011-09-30 16:43
if thomas did not disclose this income on his report form, did he or his wife disclose it on their income tax forms?

if not this behavior is criminal and should be prosecuted
+24 # motamanx 2011-09-30 16:45
Calling for an "inquiry" is really not very impressive. It represents, however, the spinelessness of the Democrats. They had better get rather more hard nosed if they want to slow down the rightward drift of this poor country. Calling for an impeachment of the lackluster, corrupt Thomas would have been a better move.
+12 # 2011-10-01 20:30
You said it! His sexual harrassment of Anita Hill and joe biden getting him off scot free demonstrates corruption in the government and the Supreme Court. Clarence Thomas is a very bad man and judge,
+27 # jerryball 2011-09-30 16:48
A good smoking gun are the suits in which he has not recused himself from, bu led to his and his wife's enrichment. There's a good smoking gun there somewhere.
+35 # unclewags 2011-09-30 17:09
If SCOTUS were an Honorable body of ethical and moral principles, they would internally censure Justice Thomas for his criminal behaviour with regard to his deceitfulness re his federal tax obligations under the law.
+20 # Hardy 2011-09-30 17:16
I'll believe it when I see it happen. The dems are afraid to go after any repub.
-5 # 2011-10-01 20:35
The "dems" savd him from being prosecuted for sexual harrassment. Do not expect a lot from now and especially
Obama. He does not concern himself with corruption. His only concern is playing politics to get re-elected which is not going to happen.
+49 # SonnyEdwards 2011-09-30 17:19
I will be pleasantly surprised if THIS Supreme Court so much as looks at this situation. This is the first Supreme Court in my memory that conducts itself as if they are above the law, and that the law doesn't apply to them. Of course, a look at who appointed the majority of these judges should explain the lack of justice.
+51 # blah blah blah 2011-09-30 17:21
Well it's about time!! Twenty Democrats? Where is the collective hole in the sand the rest of the Democrats are hiding their heads? Going up against such a corrupt and powerful group as the current supreme court takes guts and the twenty Democrats who are requesting the investigation deserve a lot of credit. May Attorney General Eric Holder follow through on this...
+28 # Paul Scott 2011-09-30 17:46
Politicians are clever, they know how to read the people and they read a people's movement. Occupy Wall Street is getting legs and some politicians will now speak out trying to protect their ass.

Congress's oath of office specifies to protect the nation from the Clarence Thomas types; instead they confirm their appointments to government offices.

Hell 6 months from now, if the people stay on target, there won't be a politician that isn't calling for an investigation of someone.

Real leaders protect their charges even at the expense of their own lives,(Jesus Christ)they don't need reminding to protect our enviroment, our nation, and the laws of this nation. Waiting until the people have to start marching in the streets, to speak up, is not leadership; its politics.
+30 # cybersleuth58 2011-09-30 18:04
"Justice Thomas" is an oxymoron. The latest example being his and Scalia's failure to recuse themselves when the Citizen's United case was heard. Thomas' appointment to succeed Thurgood Marshall was a cynical demonstration of the Republican disdain for civil rights legislation.
+30 # cy31b 2011-09-30 18:33
There used to be a time when members of SCOTUS were held in high regard, even awe. The ruling majority simply does not command this respect, especially since the Citizens United decision destroying what's left of this democracy. Mr. Thomas is an embarrassment to the Court and to the nation. To add insult to injury, he replaces an icon on the Court, Thurgood Marshall, whose fight for civil rights is legendary.
+11 # X Dane 2011-10-01 19:11
angelfish. I agree, but we don't want to wait for history to judge. It should certainly be illegal for a supreme court justice to take part in The Koch bros. secret meetings with all the bigwigs, the big right wing money men. Thomas were at two of them this year, and who knows earlier?? when people really didn't know what the Koch Bros are up to.

The current GOP darling, Christie was there too and he was bragging about how he had snookered the top democrats in New Jersey. He had made them do a lot of the cuttting of the budget. He is not a good governor, but a big fat snake.
+8 # X Dane 2011-10-01 19:19
cy31b. I think Biden voted for Thomas because he didn't want to seam prejudist, considering whom Thomas was replacing.

I think we should have an amendment to the constitution, stating that Supremes serve 15 years. A lifetime appointment is too long, since most of the Supremes get very old.
0 # giraffee2012 2011-10-10 16:38
John Paul Stevens waited to retire at about age 95 (?) until "W" was out so another Scalia/Thomas/A liota type would not be appointed. Thank You John Paul Stevens
+18 # jooberdoober 2011-09-30 19:55
Through him and his wife in jail for tax evasion. They are not above the law even though they may think they are.
+19 # giraffee2012 2011-09-30 20:34
I read that "impeachment" of a Supreme begins with accusations in the House and the Senate acts as "judge" -- so I think this letter shooting in the wind. The DOJ has no jurisdiction over the Supremes nor does the Federal Judicial Counsel! That is why the justices are called "Supremes" --- they can recuse, resign, but I don't even think other Supremes can judge another Supreme! This is not the first time a Supreme "should" have been fired.

Just in case Thomas is asked to leave (long shot) -- we would have a chance to get rid of another "right-wing" Supreme and then all these important abortion, gay, etc., motions would be laughed out instead of dominating the Right-Wing agenda. Don't these GOP/TP understand the problems are about JOBS and not abortions? Maybe I should pay more attention to the idea of abortions or double out-lawing same-sex marriages but I really don't think these "rights" are my business.

Vote DEM in 2012 and get all minorities, old, young, to understand getting an ID for voting is FREE (we do not pay to vote in the USA)---- Michael Moore said "get off the couch" and get all dems out to case a MAIL-IN ballot!
+14 # Regina 2011-09-30 21:47
Sure -- just as the Republican crazies are angling to destroy postal service in this country. Do you really think that their only motive for the P.O. closings and postal workers' layoffs is to fight the deficit???
+8 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-30 21:12
Do they file separately or jointly...he will leave her out to dry if separate.
I wish all the Justices were cleaned out every so many years, like many educators, Politicians, they lose their integrity and get bought up like too many in high places.

Nice Move, however, like most who do the un claim taxes dance, they will shuffle thru the system with their lawyer and CPA in hand, pay a fine and go on their way.
witch hunts never really puts anyone in jail, gets some notice, then everyone goes back to sleep. Wake up America
+15 # Ken Hall 2011-09-30 21:48
You gotta know that if a "liberal" judge had embarrassed himself like this there would be such a commotion from right wingers for his scalp that all governance would stop until he was forced to quit the court. Why shouldn't progressives do the same?
+20 # chick 2011-09-30 21:55
Hope Springs Eternal.
Just don't forget please to vote Democrat, we cannot see our country go back to the 1800's.

No matter how hard they make it for you to vote, vote, vote. Get those damned Repugs out of office.
+14 # sandyclaws 2011-10-01 06:09
She works for the Heritage foundation? Working for the Apex of the GOP stink tank should have been enough to disqualify Thomas from the bench. If we can get rid of him then maybe we can revisit all the issues he has voted on!
+12 # Bill Clements 2011-10-01 10:20
I would enthusiasticall y love to think that something will actually come of this, though my cynicism finds that highly amusing. And besides, you would never get both the House and the Senate to carry this forward.

It's bad enough (and highly embarrassing) that someone like Thomas can actually end up on the Supreme Court; it's unconscionable that he seems to have no regard for the law.
+5 # reiverpacific 2011-10-01 10:55
Like many of you, I'm extremely cynical of anything meaningful coming of this -and don't be surprised if the Right, in their true hypocritical double-standard manner, shout, "Racist"!
One solution to this corruption is to have an independent court of appeal and ethics (I know, I know; also unlikely here!), quit having these "Supreme Lawyers in Robes" so invulnerable and abolish the lifetime appointments.
I mean, unless they quit or die, we are stuck with this Quisling for Scalia, Scalia himself (both members of Opus Dei, which fact should disqualify them by itself!), Thomas, Ailito for a long time, so despair or get it changed -one of the many needs we have little prospect of making to even think about talking about Democracy!
+8 # wleming 2011-10-01 10:58
don't hold your breath on thomas and the clearly grusome wife. joe biden was in charge of the committee that oversaw thomas perjury and selection, tho there were women waiting in the wings ready to testify about thomas harrassment which has now been confirmed by the autobiography of an ex thomas girlfriend. do we need more proof of a sycophant congress which appointed thomas in the first place?
+8 # propsguy 2011-10-01 22:35
get him out from behind the bench and throw him behind bars
+7 # 2011-10-02 14:16
Given the arrogance of Justice Thomas violating the most obvious of ethical canons and declining to recuse himself from critical cases in which he has obvious conflicts of interest, does anyone seriously think that he would step down voluntarily in the face of a Congress unlikely to impeach for the very same reasons that Justice Thomas believes that he can get away with it?The hostility to the principles of our Constitutional government trump the integrity of good faith or rtesponsibility to oath of office. Justice Thomas represents a personal ideology and the financial interests that promote an oligarchical agenda. There is no concern for the best interests of the people or for the nation as a whole.
+5 # claudesteiner 2011-10-03 10:19
Perjury, tax evasion, conflict of interest, corruption, judicial incompetence...

I feel sorry fir the guy. How can he look at himself in the mirror every morning?

As long as he sits on the highest court in the land we have to live with shame and embarrassment. Impeach Clarence Thomas!!!
0 # Fiona Mackenzie 2011-10-04 00:59
Too damned bad for Dems they couldn't wait to toss out of Congress--for no relevant reason--the one member who was avidly pursuing Thomas's illegal and unethical behavior, and his irresponsible (even anti-American) acts as justice for which he is being paid. And so now that people are finally catching on to what ALEC's purpose is, and how terribly ready they are to carry it out successfully, we have nobody who is up to speed on Thomas's involvement with and probable bribery by that group.

Gee, I wonder what they would do to a Republican who committed the extreme offense of texting suggestive (not pornographic) photos to consenting adults...

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