Showing posts with label Clarence Thomas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clarence Thomas. Show all posts

May 9, 2023

Ticket to Hell: The moral turpitude of Clarence Thomas

 By Hal Brown



.

Clarence Thomas, and his wife Ginni, consider themselves to be good Christians. Presumably they believe in Heaven and Hell. No less an expert than the Billy Graham tells us the following:

Satan is not imaginary; he isn’t something people dreamed up just to try to explain the existence of evil. Satan is real, and the Bible makes it clear that he is a powerful (and evil) spiritual being who is absolutely opposed to God and His goodness.

The Bible doesn’t give us a detailed account of Satan’s origin but it does indicate that Satan originally was one of God’s angels, created by Him to carry out His will. But apparently Satan became filled with jealousy and pride, and he decided that he would lead a rebellion against God so he could take God’s place as the ruler of all creation. The Bible says, “You said in your heart… ‘I will make myself like the Most High'” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

 By what standard of morality are they going to Heaven when they die? If living one's life mired in moral turpitude is a ticket to hellfire and damnation they will be welcomed as fitting for a dignitary with his resume with open arms to Hell by Satan himself.

Caricature by DonkeyHotey


I thought it was ironic that when I looked at this Washington Post article that the ad on the side was for the Netflix hit political thriller starring Keri Russell ("The Americans"),  "The Diplomat", because the show is about a highly moral and ethical woman newly assigned to be ambassador to the United Kingdom.

There are two related definitions of moral turpitude:

Click above to enlarge, malum in se means
 an offense that is evil or wrong from its
 own nature irrespective of statute
 


The first definition is "an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community" and the second is "a quality of dishonesty or other immorality that is determined by a court to be present in the commission of a criminal offense."

Note the following with my emphasis:

 Whether a criminal offense involves moral turpitude is an important determination in deportation, disbarment, and other disciplinary hearings. Past crimes involving moral turpitude usually may also be introduced as evidence to impeach testimony. Crimes such as theft, perjury, and vice crimes have been found to involve moral turpitude.
Moral turpitude can be a factor in disbarment hearings. Ordinary lawyers can be disbarred and thus no longer allowed to practice law. I am not sure whether judges can be disbarred but I do know that there is only one way to remove a Supreme Court justice and that is through impeachment. No Supreme Court justice has been removed from office and the only one to be impeached by the House of Representatives was Samuel Chase in 1804 who was accused of allowing his political bias to influence his decision on the high court.

This is despite that fact that the Constitution says the following in Article III, Section 1 (my emphasis):

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office. 
Good behavior is not defined. It seems obvious that the Founders did not think it was necessary to define what this meant. 

What Clarence Thomas has done, from what I and many others believe he did to Anita Hill, to how he accepted gifts from a billionaire is to act in a manner which fits definition number one. It is a stretch to define his actions as a justice in the highest court in the land as good behavior.

Dictionary definition number two is a legal standard and, to quote Hamlet, ay, there's the rub.

Clarence Thomas sits on the one American court which has no ethical or moral code which judges, called... and I have to use the word ironically again... are referred to as justices, are held to. On the Supreme Court we have several justices whose idea of justice if you define the word as used in "equal justice for all" has little to do with justice. 


Lucky for Thomas, there's no justice Supreme Court justices are compelled to apply to themselves.

Addendum

Here's another DonkeyHotey caricature and illustration. It was published in Who, What, Why.

Click above to enlarge. Clarence's malfeasance is entwined with and involves collusion with his wife Ginni to advance their shared agenda.  

Clarence's bad behavior doesn't merely involve his sugar daddy with the NAZI memorabilia collection and the dictator garden Harlan Crow. If you believe Crow never used his relationship with the Thomases to influence SCOTUS rulings I have a timeshare in a posh tropical resort to give you for free.

Afternoon bonus having nothing to do with Clarence Thomas but everything to do with justice, with Trump's Truth Social all caps reaction to being found liable in the E. Jean Carroll lawsuit:

Click image to enlarge

Also on the justice is a dish best served cold front:

Exclusive: Rep. George Santos charged by Justice Department in federal probe. CNN



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April 10, 2023

A tale of two judges: who deserves the title of Judge Dreadful

 By Hal Brown

Has anybody wondered whether Clarence Thomas is jealous of a hitherto before obscure federal judge in Texas? The Supreme Court justice known for being reticent to say much of anything during litigation has rarely given interviews. This isn't to say he doesn't enjoy publicity. He has managed to elevate himself to being the most well-known Supreme Court justice.

The notion that he wants to avoid publicity is belied by the fact that he hasn't reined in his wife whose activities have shined a bright light on him. 

I believe he loves the spotlight. I think he is so arrogant that he doesn't care whether there are dark shadows around the spotlight. For Clarence, at least until now, all publicity is good publicity. While liberals demonize him he has become a hero to the far right significantly because he is the object of intense progressive scorn.

The current so-called scandal won't hurt Clarence's reputation with those who admire him. After all, these are the same people who worship at the foot of their golden idol Donald Trump and in their weird "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous" manner they enjoy observing the opulent life he leads. 

Now along comes this upstart judge with a name most people would be hard pressed to spell.

How dare he hog the headlines?


Meanwhile, another judge few people outside of the state of Washington, Thomas O. Rice (left), has earned a laurel wreath for both smarts and heroism for making a conflicting ruling, thus making it quite likely that the case will fast-track to the Supreme Court. Ironically, once in the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas will be faced with either going along with Judge Kacsmaryk or contradicting his ruling.

Addendum:

For those who, like me, only knew the name Judge Dredd, this is from Wikipedia:


Judge Joseph Dredd
 is a fictional character created by writer John Wagnerand artist Carlos Ezquerra. He first appeared in the second issue of 2000 AD(1977), which is a British weekly anthology comic. He is the magazine's longest-running character. He also appears in a number of film and video game adaptations.

Judge Dredd is a law enforcement and judicial officer in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One, which covers most of the east coast of North America. He is a "street judge", empowered to summarily arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals.

In Great Britain, the character of Dredd and his name are sometimes invoked in discussions of police statesauthoritarianism, and the rule of law.[2] Over the years, Judge Dredd has been hailed as one of the best satires of American and British culture with an uncanny trend to predict upcoming trends and events such as mass surveillance, the rise of populist leaders, and the COVID-19 pandemic.[3] In 2011, IGN ranked Judge Dredd 35th among the top 100 comic book heroes of all time.[4]

Judge Dredd made his live-action debut in 1995 in Judge Dredd, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone. Later, he was portrayed by Karl Urban in the 2012 adaptation Dredd. In audio dramas by Big Finish Productions, Dredd is voiced by Toby Longworth.

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April 8, 2023

Why Clarence Thomas shouldn't have had to disclose his trips to visit his close friends

By Hal Brown

In view of what came out since I originally wrote this with the top illustration (see Sunday blog here) I added the bottom image.
.....................

Clarence and Ginni have two besties. They happen to be fairly rich. To quote what Clarence said:

“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over 25 years. As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter-century we have known them.”

People, with the exception of hermits and totally anti-social curmudgeons, have friends. Most have a range of friends some of whom are closer than others.

On occasion they may exchange gifts, say for birthdays, and how expensive, or lavish, these gifts are varies. Some people visit each other so often that they rarely if ever bring presents. On special occasions people of modest means may bring a bottle of supermarket wine when they eat over at a friend's house. 

It may look tawdry, or worse, for Clarence and Ginni Thomas to have considered travel on a private jet and being entertained on a big boat not to be things they need to have reported as gifts, but rich people consider their planes and yachts to be homes away from home. What's the difference, really, between having meal prepared by a chef and having your pal flip burgers on a backyard grill? Food is food, right?

People may be served hamburgers or they may serve filet mignon on special occasions. Wealthy people may treat their houseguests to Dom Perignon champagne and expensive cheese. The super rich may serve astronomically expensive vintage wine, Croatian truffles, and  "Strottarga Bianco" caviar .

Headlines like the following included terms that are relative:

What's to be defined as a lavish gift?

There are some people who would scoff at the description of what The NY Times headlines as lavish gifts.

Is there a line between driving to visit friends for dinner, having your kids play in their above ground pool, and having a barbecue, and what the Thomas's did by being transported in a common Bombardier Global 5000 private jet and being entertained on yacht that in the snobby yachting world wouldn't even be considered a super yacht. 

After all the Crows are said to be worth a paltry $2 billion. There are super yachts that cost  almost that much or more

The Michela Rose is the boat the Thomas's were entertained on.

There are private jets that cost much more than the one the couple own. For example the AirBus A380 owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal goes for $600 million.

To mirror Marc Antony's eulogy for Julius Caesar indulge me when I say that I come not to bury Thomas nor to praise him. The evil Thomas has done, and is likely to continue to do, will be his legacy. There is no Brutus to end his tenure.  

There are those who argue that no person should be above the law and those who contend that only Donald Trump should be above the law. Clarence Thomas gave the appearance of impropriety, but did he break any laws in accepting the hospitality of his close friends and not reporting this?

There are those in public office who are scrupulous about accepting absolutely nothing of value from anyone who might be trying to influence them.  For example, I have a friend who used to work for a U.S. Senator as a senior aide. From time to time they reminded them that they shouldn't let a lobbyist pick up the tab when they dined out. There are others in official positions who may be a bit looser when it comes to such matters.


What are the ethical boundaries for people who have political power and influence?

I once invited a local lawmaker to lunch for an interview. Lunch would be on me. He wouldn’t allow it. “I wouldn’t even let you buy me a cup of coffee at Starbucks,” he told me.

At least that was a good thing, since I’m not exactly a fan of Starbucks.


A member of Congress, the executive branch, or the judiciary may engage with lobbyists and others who want to influence policy. It's also possible they could be friends with them. This, truly, could put one in a sticky wicket.

These revelations about Clarence hopefully has him meandering in a mucilaginous morass. If he and Ginni are feeling stuck in the muck it makes me happy. However, I rather doubt anything will come of it. I have a feeling that this will prove to be a tempest in a teapot, although it may be an expensive teapot.

Updates: You'll need a subscription to read why The Wall Street Journal says this is a smear.

"The left is furious it lost control of the Supreme Court, and it wants it back by whatever means possible. The latest effort is a smear on Justice Thomas."


Is it illegal for Thomas to receive gifts? 

Generally speaking, Supreme Court justices are required to disclose any perks that they receive if they are valued at more than $415 and they aren't reimbursed, according to public filings for judicial officers and employees. Those perks may include travel, food or lodging. 

But some exceptions can include situations when a person hosts a justice on their own property, in which case food and lodging would not have to be disclosed. But this exception does not apply to travel expenses such as costs for a private plane, however. 

Additionally, it appears Thomas should have reported vacations at Crow's Camp Topridge resort in New York because the developer technically owns the resort through a company, as opposed to owning it personally, according to ProPublica.

This confirms that everything that the Thomases accepted by way of hospitality on the Crow's yacht wasn't different than it would have been if they went to a friend's backyard barbecue. The travel expenses should have been reported.

Blogs are also posted on Booksie and Medium.

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October 2, 2022

The whole Truth? Ginni says generally, not never.

The whole Truth?

Ginni says generally, not never

by Hal Brown

Related articles on bottom of page

Click to enlarge image

“She was a gift from God that I had prayed for,” the justice said in a new book about him, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in his Own Words.” “She’s been as dear and close a human being as I could have ever imagined having in my life.”

 Just saying: Turning back the clock of justice 



The horrible housfrau Thomas' choice of the word "generally" in her testimony to the Jan. 6th Committee jumped out at me: 

The words quoted in her prepared remarks sound as if they were prepared by lawyers to avoid her perjuring herself.

This is from CNN.


“Regarding the 2020 election, I did not speak with him at all about the details of my volunteer campaign activities,” Thomas said under oath in her opening statement obtained by CNN. “And I did not speak with him at all about the details of my post-election activities, which were minimal, in any event. I am certain I never spoke with him about any of the legal challenges to the 2020 election, as I was not involved with those challenges in any way.”

Thomas’ prepared remarks, however, stressed, “that my husband has never spoken with me about pending cases at the Court. It’s an iron clad rule in our home.”

“Additionally, [Justice Thomas] is uninterested in politics. And I generally do not discuss with him my day-to-day work in politics, the topics I am working on, who I am calling, emailing, texting, or meeting,” she added.


Not that anyone need to be reminded of the following synonyms for generally:
The remarks quoted above were prepared in advance. Did Ginni write them herself? I rather doubt it. They sound like they were carefully written by lawyers so she wouldn't risk perjuring herself.

The last part about her husband being uninterested in politics depends of course on one's definition of politics, but  it is still impossible to believe. 

Nobody with a working prefrontal cortex believes that Ginni didn't discuss her belief that the election was stollen as a result of a complex and massive scheme to deprive Donald Trump of his legitimate win.

The first part of her statement that it is an iron clad rule that her husband doesn't speak with her about pending cases may be true, after all she "guarantees" that it is.

This doesn't preclude his listening to her when she talks about her political beliefs and engaging in back and forth discussion with her about them. 

Getting back to the word "generally" and what she didn't say. She didn't say that she never speaks with him about specifics about what she's working on in her day-to-day work in politics, but even this is true she didn't address whether she speaks with him about what she believes.

I would be very surprised if the two of them didn't engage in numerous discussions about her belief, and very possibly Clarence's belief, that the election was stollen by the evil Joe Biden and the members of the deep state who were his allies in the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on freedom loving patriotic Americans.


And then there's this:

‘The View’ Hosts ‘Call B.S.’ on Ginni Thomas’ Claims She Doesn’t Talk Politics With Her Husband: ‘A Filthy Liar’


“Excerpts:

I think Ginni Thomas is a little bit of a filthy liar,” (co-host) Hostin said. “And the reason that I say that is because she says ‘We don’t talk about politics. We don’t talk about the Supreme Court…'” At that, Joy Behar cut her off, asking “What do they talk about, ‘Dancing With the Stars?'”

Hostin brought that up because there is indeed a thread between former clerks of Judge Thomas — which his wife is not only on, but “she plans family retreats for everyone” in it. Hostin also pointed out that one of those former clerks is John Eastman, who was, of course, one of the biggest testimonies in the Jan. 6 hearings.

“So Ginni, come on girl,” Hostin said cheekily.

Host Alyssa Farah Griffin also admitted that she’d “call B.S.” on Thomas’ claims that the Thomases don’t discuss their work, arguing that at the very least, Judge Thomas might ask his wife how her day was, or if she did anything exciting — including on Jan. 6, when his wife was at the Capitol.

“Is she a liar, or is she in the cult?” Behar wondered. But to that, host Ana Navarro had a blunt answer.

“Honey, she’s cray cray,” Navarro shot back. “This is not hard to figure out. First of all, since they’re not talking about politics, and they’re not talking about legal cases, maybe they’re the ones talking about Bruno.”

At Behar’s obvious confusion, Navarro clarified that she was referencing the viral song from Disney’s “Encanto,” before getting into her true thoughts on Ginni Thomas.

“I think she is representative of people who are somewhat radicalized, or totally radicalized, who are not rooted in fact, and who are crazy,” she said. “But I don’t think Ginni Thomas is a mastermind behind this conspiracy. I think she is one of those annoying gadflies that they had to deal with because she happens to be married to a Supreme Court justice that they needed.”

....and this:

"As we talk about and think of the rigged and stolen of 2020 — presidential election, rigged and stolen — I would like to thank a great woman named Ginni Thomas. Do you know Ginni Thomas? Great woman."
 

My snarky photo manipulation of the day (if you don't count the one I made for this story):

A picture is worth 1000 words... going 266,000 miles beyond the cliche... and you might be in dire need of psychiatric intervention too.

A (mostly) unrelated story and my comment:
Click below to enlarge my comment and added illustration.
As someone who was a psychotherapist for 40 years I try to have empathy for people like this woman because she was vulnerable to being manipulated like so many others who got sucked into the Trump cult and other far smaller cults in previous times. It is sad that instead of MAGA hats in another context they could be wearing tinfoil on their heads to prevent outer-space rays from frying their brains.

Another article, I added to the illustration (click image to enlarge)

Lawyer claims Trump could get away with financial lies because there was a disclaimer


And then there's Judge Cannon.... who went to The University of Michigan Law School... read my story about her (and Trump) here.

On the subject of law schools, real ones that is, here is a related article:

The Supreme Court Is Blowing Up Law School, Too

Inside the growing furor among professors who have had enough.



Excerpts:

At law schools across the country, thousands of professors of constitutional law are currently facing a court that, in their view, has let the mask of neutrality fall off completely. Six conservative justices are steering the court head-on into the most controversial debates of the day and consistently siding with the Republican Party. Increasingly, the conservative majority does not even bother to provide any reasoning for its decisions, exploiting the shadow docket to overhaul the law without a word of explanation. The crisis reached its zenith between September 2021 and June 2022, when the Supreme Court let Texas impose its vigilante abortion ban through the shadow docket, then abolished a 50-year-old right to bodily autonomy by overruling Roe v. Wade. Now law professors are faced with a quandary: How—and why—should you teach law to students while the Supreme Court openly changes the meaning of the Constitution to align with the GOP?

A version of this question has long dogged the profession, which has fought over the distinction between law and politics for about as long as it has existed. For decades, however, the court has handed enough victories to both sides of the political spectrum that it has avoided a full-on academic revolt against its legitimacy. That dynamic changed when Trump appointed Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to replace far less conservative predecessors and created a Republican-appointed supermajority, a coalition further aided by the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to a seat that should have been filled by Barack Obama. The cascade of far-right rulings in 2022 confirmed that the new court is eager to shred long-held precedents it deems too liberal as quickly as possible. The pace and scale of this revolution is requiring law professors to adapt on several levels—intellectually, pedagogically, and emotionally.

---------

The problem, it’s worth emphasizing, is not that the Supreme Court is issuing decisions with which left-leaning professors disagree. It’s that the court seems to be reaching many of these conclusions in defiance of centuries of standards, rejecting precedent and moderation in favor of aggressive, partisan-tinged motivated reasoning. Plenty of progressive professors have long viewed the court with skepticism, and many professors, right- and left-leaning, have criticized the reasoning behind certain opinions for decades. But it’s only in recent years—with the manipulation of the justice selection process combined with clear, results-oriented cynicism in decisions—that the problem has seemed so acute that they feel it affects their ability to teach constitutional law.


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