Apparently, Supreme Court Justice and Stephen-from-Django-look-alike contest winner Clarence Thomas has been out here living the high life off of the dime of a billionaire Republican donor, which would be fine if he wasn’t allegedly breaking the law to do it, according to an investigative report by ProPublica.
According to the report, Thomas has, for decades, accepted free luxury vacations from Harlan Crow, the Republican billionaire Thomas has a history of receiving gifts from, including money for a museum in Thomas’ hometown of Pin Point, Georgia, and a $15,000 bust of Abraham Lincoln, which I can only imagine live action Uncle Ruckus wanted for target practice because Lincoln freed the slaves putting millions of Black people out of a job. These freebies have made Thomas the target of ethics investigations in the past.
“He goes on cruises in far-flung locals on Crow’s yacht, flies on his private jet, and keeps company with Crow’s powerful friends at the billionaire’s private resort,” the ProPublica report claims.
Now, to be fair, it’s probably very expensive to fly back and forth from the sunken place to wherever Black-ish white nationalists go for luxury vacations. So, if you’re wondering what’s wrong with a Supreme Court justice getting treated to free trips by the GOP’s own personal Santa Clause, ethics law experts said Thomas’s failure to include these trips on his financial disclosures appears to “violate a law requiring justices, judges, members of Congress and federal officials to disclose most gifts.”
For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them, documents and interviews show. A public servant who has a salary of $285,000, he has vacationed on Crow’s superyacht around the globe. He flies on Crow’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crow’s sprawling ranch in East Texas. And Thomas typically spends about a week every summer at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks.
The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Here’s what some formal federal officers of the court had to say about the Thomas/Crow ball-out-on-a-billionaire-budget affair, according to the report:
“It’s incomprehensible to me that someone would do this,” said Nancy Gertner, a retired federal judge appointed by President Bill Clinton. When she was on the bench, Gertner said, she was so cautious about appearances that she wouldn’t mention her title when making dinner reservations: “It was a question of not wanting to use the office for anything other than what it was intended.”
Virginia Canter, a former government ethics lawyer who served in administrations of both parties, said Thomas “seems to have completely disregarded his higher ethical obligations.”
“When a justice’s lifestyle is being subsidized by the rich and famous, it absolutely corrodes public trust,” said Canter, now at the watchdog group CREW. “Quite frankly, it makes my heart sink.”
This news coupled with the Republican reaction to Donald Trump’s 34-count felony indictment and arrest is just further proof that the so-called “party of law and order” is, well, not so much. Of course, you can likely count on the GOP to treat the news that Thomas has possibly been breaking the law regularly for some 20 years like it’s no big deal and a product of “leftist” media attacks on highly ethical and morally sound conservatives.
Hopefully, they’ll try not to incite a Capitol riot over it, though.
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