Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Justice Thomas' Refusal to Recuse Himself on Issues His Wife is Involved Should be Grounds for Impeachment

Why does SCOTUS exempt themselves from the Federal Judicial Code of Conduct when they should set the standards for all Federal Courts?
But the United States Supreme Court has written its own rules, and specifically exempted itself from the federal Judicial Code of Conduct. Common Cause did a lot of work on this in 2010 and 2011. Here's the money quote:
Federal law requires a justice to recuse himself when: He knows that…his spouse…has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy…or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.
Those rules are mandatory for all federal judges except the United States Supreme Court who are to voluntarily recuse themselves.  These judges are appointed for life with no rules of conduct so they are free to do what they want.  When you read how Clarence Thomas has ruled in favor of his wife's pet causes that she is getting paid to lobby, you want the Federal Code to apply to all Federal Judges including the Supreme Court Justices.  It is obvious that SCOTUS is incapable of policing itself. Honor system to recuse is not working as we are witnessing from Clarence Thomas and also Anthony Scalia.

From Slate:
To be fair, what Breyer and Kennedy said was that the justices do abide by the federal judiciary's ethical code. They just do so voluntarily. The justices each make decisions about their own recusals because, well, it's personal. But the fact that it's so personal is precisely the reason the justices should not. The mentality that legal ethics are for other judges is part of what is leading to the declining public regard for the judiciary.
Agree 100% that Justice Clarence Thomas should be Impeached!  He long ago forgot his oath as a Justice of the Supreme Court in order to play up to the Koch Brothers at various events and to support his wife's hard right lobbying and groups where she is getting paid.
July 31, 2013 09:00 AM
Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas
By karoli 
In 2011, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas gave a speech to the Federalist Society where he defended Ginni Thomas' activism, saying he and Ginni "believe in the same things." Toward the end, he said they were "equally yoked" because they both were defenders of liberty. 
That's a lovely sentiment, but when placed in a larger context, particularly with regard to her current activism with the likes of True the Vote, the Daily Caller, and the entire Groundswell team, it's an extreme conflict of interest. 
Clarence Thomas is only one example of the conflicts in which our government is awash, but his is an egregious one. 
In his 2011 profile of Clarence Thomas, Jeffrey Toobin defined his role this way:
The implications of Thomas’s leadership for the Court, and for the country, are profound. Thomas is probably the most conservative Justice to serve on the Court since the nineteen-thirties. More than virtually any of his colleagues, he has a fully wrought judicial philosophy that, if realized, would transform much of American government and society. Thomas’s views both reflect and inspire the Tea Party movement, which his wife has helped lead almost since its inception. The Tea Party is a diffuse operation, and it can be difficult to pin down its stand on any given issue. Still, the Tea Party is unusual among American political movements in its commitment to a specific view of the Constitution—one that accords, with great precision, with Thomas’s own approach. For decades, various branches of the conservative movement have called for a reduction in the size of the federal government, but for the Tea Party, and for Thomas, small government is a constitutional command.
Let's just get this out of the way right now. When a sitting Supreme Court justice is married to a woman who received nearly a million dollars from a wealthy Texas billionaire to oppose the Affordable Care Act in a high-profile fashion, the answer shouldn't be that spouses are entitled to do whatever they want. 
There are circumstances where they can't do what they want, and one clear one is a situation where their spouse is going to rule on a related case. No other federal judge would be permitted to hear or issue opinions about cases where his or her spouse is publicly acting as advocate for one side or the other. 
It's unethical
Read More at Crooks and Liars about how Clarence Thomas should be impeached since he refused to recuse himself on cases where he wife was an activist.  
Out of the groups who have commented so far about a conflict of interest for Justice Thomas with his wife, Ginny Thomas, the one from Media Matters nails it and why Thomas should have recused himself:

Ginni Thomas also actively coordinated Groundswell's efforts to assist in the attacks on voting rights precedent, doing so in the months leading up to the Supreme Court's infamous 5-4 conservative Shelby County decision. In communications with voter suppression groups, such as True the Vote, that sought to "reframe" voter ID laws because they are "already lost & equated with racism," Ginni Thomas demanded to know who "are key working group members on ELECTION LAW, ELECTION REFORM and THE LEFT'S NARRATIVES, Groundswell???" (emphasis in original). It is this unapologetic Groundswell involvement in cases that were actively pending before the Supreme Court that reveals Ginni Thomas is continuing the ethically dubious right-wing activism that raised so many red flags previously
Can guarantee if Thomas was a liberal judge doing the same thing as Thomas, conservatives would be calling for his resignation immediately.  One thing I am learning is that conservatives are very quick to run out and bluster even if facts are not on their side as they use a narrative.  Now we know a lot of those narratives come from Groundswell of which Ginny Thomas is a primary member.

Will someone please start the drumbeat to impeach Clarence Thomas from the SCOTUS due to his ruling on cases where he has a conflict of interest.  If you notice he always comes down on the side of his wife and the Koch Brothers.  Looks like the Kochs have bought two SCOTUS -- no wonder Citizens United was such a crappy ruling.

Time for the American public to demand that SCOTUS abide by the same Code as all other Federal Judges.

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