I remember, in the not too distant past (like two years ago!), when I thought ‘Well at least the court system isn’t corrupt yet’). Reprinted from Credo:
A New York Times expose published Sunday details the improper ties between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and influential rightwing funder and activist Harlan Crow.
Crow is a major contributor to conservative causes and a stalwart supporter of Clarence Thomas. In past years he reportedly gave Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, $500,000 to exploit the Citizens United decision and start a shadowy, Tea Party-related group called Liberty Central. He gave Thomas a bible (estimated value $15,000) that once belonged to Frederick Douglass, and allegedly provided the Supreme Court Justice with access to his yacht and private jet.
As if that wasn’t enough, the New York Times has revealed that Thomas may have improperly solicited a multi-million dollar donation from Crow to benefit one of his own pet projects near his birth place in a remote coastal community outside Savanna, Georgia.
Shockingly, the Supreme Court is not legally bound by the code of conduct for federal judges, though Justices Breyer and Anthony M. Kennedy have testified to Congress that members of the Supreme Court voluntarily follow the code which explicitly prohibits justices from directly soliciting charitable donations. If Thomas can’t legally be removed from office because adherence to ethics rules for the Supreme Court are voluntary, then we must simply demand his resignation.
Crow is far from a disinterested philanthropist. He has donated nearly $5 million to Republican campaigns and rightwing groups, including a six digit donation to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth which so effectively attacked Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election. He’s on the board of the ultra conservative American Enterprise Institute which brought a case to the Supreme Court challenging federal voting rights laws, a case that found only one sympathetic vote on the court — that of Clarence Thomas.