Thomas Condemns His Critics As Undermining The Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has reportedly unleashed an attack on his critics for his violations of disclosure laws and alleged conflicts of interest. He warned law students that these critics are “undermining” the Court and endangering the country by weakening core institutions. As one of those critics, I am flabbergasted by Thomas’ remarks which show an implied disregard that seems to have now reached open contempt for certain principles of judicial ethics. There is not a hint of concern for his own conduct and how it has undermined the Supreme Court as an institution. For a prior column, click here

This weekend at a Federalist Society event, Thomas insisted that his wife Ginny is being attacked because she believes in the same thing as he does and that they “are focused on defending liberty.” That appears to be his defense for years of filing false disclosure forms that effectively hid hundreds of thousands of dollars of salary from conservative organizations.

When I first read these comments, it seemed that Thomas was just stuck on some Kübler-Ross process on denial and transference. However, it seems much more worrisome. Thomas clearly holds an imperial view of the Court. He has previously objected to those who would presume to criticize those in charge of their institutions. In these remarks, Thomas strikes a perfectly messianic note, warning the students that critics “seem bent on undermining” the Court. He added:

“You all are going to be, unfortunately, the recipients of the fallout from that – that there’s going to be a day when you need these institutions to be credible and to be fully functioning to protect your liberties . . . . And that’s long after I’m gone, and that could be either a short or a long time, but you’re younger, and it’s still going to be a necessity to protect the liberties that you enjoy now in this country.”

Frankly, it is a spin that borders on the delusional. Thomas and some of his colleagues are destroying a long tradition of neutrality of justices by pandering to their ideological base. Thomas magnified this damage by adding years of disclosure violations that withheld information that would have been relevant to his own alleged conflicts of interest. He clearly confuses the justices with the institution itself — treating himself as the personification of the rule of law. Ironically, this is precisely the problem that I have described in the advent of the celebrity justice.

What is even more distressing is that Thomas would choose this forum to address these complaints rather than answer the formal inquiries regarding his disclosure violations.

Source: Politico

Jonathan Turley

88 thoughts on “Thomas Condemns His Critics As Undermining The Supreme Court”

  1. In case after case, high profile people who commit crimes see themselves as persecuted by anyone who points out those crimes.

    After listening to people from the financial industry, from the US political arena and of course, a real standout in this regard, Mr. Moamar Gaddafi, I have come to the conclusion that many US and world leaders are clinically insane. They add to this an extremely bad character. I find this situation frightening.

  2. Mespo,
    I remember when the Hudson decision came down. Those statements by Justice Thomas have to be some of the saddest words I have ever read in a Supreme Court decision. I wonder if he or a relative had to undergo that kind of treatment, if he would have a different view of what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment? Also how in heck can treatment be torture and criminal, but not cruel and unusual? You are right that those few words say it all about Justice Thomas.

  3. “In my view a use of force that causes only insignificant harm to a prisoner may be immoral, it may be tortious, it may be criminal … but it is not ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’ ”

    ~Hudson v. McMillan, 5013 U.S. 1 (1992)(Thomas, J, in dissent)
    (Angola, Louisiana, prisoner Keith Hudson was left “with loosened teeth, facial bruises and a cracked dental plate” after being shackled and taken to a secluded place to be beaten by guards.)

    JT’s “criticism” seems mild compared to the revelation of core rot disclosed by these few words by our Justice from Pin Point.

    Thanks for the cite eniobob.

  4. rafflaw,

    “You have just one more reason to agree with Dorothy, “there is no place like home”!”

    The only other place I would even think of moving to would be Amsterdam 😀

  5. eniobob,

    Thanks for the link – I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s very interesting so far (and explains a lot). Were it not for the damage he’s doing to the fabric of our society, it would merely be another sad tale of the loss of potential instead of the epic tragedy it has become for our country.

  6. mr.ed,
    With all due respect, the only thing you have correct about Justice Thomas is the lifetime appointment. The high tech lynching is a joke. If anyone was “lynched” in those hearings it was Prof. Hill.

  7. He has a lifetime appointment, is shtupping a wealthy blonde, and survived a high-tech lynching. No need to say anything with those creds.

  8. Elaine M,

    Not one to be found in CT either. NH and ME are the only New England states that have chapters.

    Lol – love the “real tea party” dig!!

  9. He is not bordering on the delusional, he is delusional and it is a facet of him being mentally ill. There is a lot more mental illness in this country than people want to admit. Here is a prime example sitting in on a life time job.

  10. AY,

    We don’t have an Americans for Prosperity chapter in my state. That’s one good reason why I like living in Massachusetts–the place where the REAL tea party took place!


  11. Its Not Important:
    “I don’t know the particulars of why Justice Thomas was chosen for the SCOTUS, but I do not believe that he would have ever been nominated if he were not African-American (and replacing Thurgood Marshall…) and I wonder if part of his selection was as a living argument against affirmative action (as in, ‘see what happens when you are forced to take a minority rather than the best qualified person…’).”

    Someone gave their opinion as to why this may have happened.

    “a trait so obvious it was immediately perceived by a succession of white Republican racists who rocketed him to the U.S. Supreme Court with obscene haste to become a hit-man against his own people.”


  12. Here is a list of all of the workers for AfP….

    Pick your state and give em a hell..O…… or pick some state and do the same….

    I am sure they are waiting for communication……

    I wonder if we all synced and wrote each one at the same instant if they would like that….

  13. OS,
    Thanks for the update on the hacker group. I had forgotten about their call to go after the Koch brothers. There are probably quite a few cockroaches hiding under some of those Kansas rocks.

  14. The pressure is ramping up on Thomas. I have to wonder what the implied threat from the hacker group Anonymous might bring. If there is an email dump as in the HB Gary case, what will there be that might implicate Thomas and Scalia? One has to wonder what they might be squirming about these days, knowing the hackers may, at this very moment, be poring over their emails (read: orders) from the Koch crime family.

    BTW, I checked just a little while ago and Americans for Prosperity is still giving an error message.

  15. James in LA,
    I agree that consistent calls for Thomas’ impeachment might help. but I think he will trip himself up at some point. I think he has a very large antacid budget. He is one angry man.

  16. Buckeye,
    The ethics issues I was referring to were the income disclosure records that the Supremes also have to fill out. Of course, there is no enforcement mechanism.

  17. rafflaw

    Yah, we can dream. Douglas was involved in a corporation’s funding, also, but the main problem was his liberal decisions.

    I thought it was decided there were no ethics rules – yet – for Supreme Court Justices. Or any way to curb them other than impeachment – which ain’t gonna happen.

Comments are closed.