Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Should Clarence Thomas Be Impeached?

In case you haven't heard, we have a couple of Supreme Court Justices who have been involved in fundraisers and political activity for the right wing organized by some of the biggest corporate interests in the world. The two are Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas. It is rather ironic that they would let themselves get involved with corporation-sponsored political retreats and events since they like to call themselves "originalists", and many of the Founding Fathers considered corporations the greatest threat to the democracy they had founded. In fact, the Founding Fathers would probably be shocked to know of Citizens United, which further affirmed the concept that corporations are human too (see "corporate personhood").

Justice Thomas was recently in the news when his wife, Ginni Thomas, left a voice mail for Anita Hill, asking the poor woman why she has not apologized to her husband in all these years for smearing him during his Senate confirmation hearings with accusations of sexual harassment. That is not the kind of publicity that a SCJ might have wanted, but alas, Ginni had different ideas for her husband.

As it turns out, Ginni Thomas has again become a source of trouble for her husband. Scratch that. She may not be a source of trouble, but she features in the latest Clarence Thomas fiasco.

As Politico reports,
Like all federal judges, Thomas must file annual disclosure reports on his personal finances, but he had omitted details of his wife’s earnings in what he wrote was a “misunderstanding of the filing instructions.” He also had checked a box marking no spousal income.

After this discovery surfaced, Justice Thomas had to amend 13 years' worth of financial disclosures, to include his wife's income from sources like the Heritage Foundation and the Republican leadership in the House.

Common Cause, the watchdog organization that made the discovery about Ginni Thomas's undisclosed income, says that Justice Thomas explanation for the omission is implausible, as the Daily Kos reports:
“Justice Thomas sits on the highest court of the land, is called upon daily to understand and interpret the most complicated legal issues of our day and makes decisions that affect millions,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “It is hard to see how he could have misunderstood the simple directions of a federal disclosure form. We find his excuse is implausible.”

As Jed Lewison correctly points out in his Daily Kos post, "[i]f Clarence Thomas violated the public trust, he has no place on the Supreme Court -- he ought to be impeached and removed from office."

I'd say so, wouldn't you?

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