Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Who Is Clarence Thomas?

My VIP for this week is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the only conservative person of color on the bench. Justice Thomas is often in the crosshairs of the Far Left because they do not like conservatives of color. Kelsey Dallas at The Deseret News reported that Some Democratic lawmakers are accusing Justice Thomas of failing to disclose free trips provided by a wealthy friend. 

Dallas used a report from John Kruzel, who covers the Supreme Court for Reuters, for the following statement by Justice Thomas last Friday.

Early in my tenure at the court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the court, was not reportable. I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have always sought to comply with disclosure guidelines.

Disclosure guidance has been recently updated. Although Justice Thomas has not made any disclosures under the new guidelines, he stated, “It is, of course, my intent to follow this guidance in the future.”

The situation arose because ProPublica created a report that traced the justice’s relationship with Harlan Crow, a “real estate magnate and Republican megadonor.” According to the recent report, Justice Thomas was invited to travel with Crow multiple times. They traveled on Crow’s private jet as well as his superyacht. They visited Crow’s ranch in East Texas and his resort in the Adirondacks.

Under the new guidelines, Justice Thomas would be required to report the trips on private jets and other similar gifts. The Washington Post noted that the revised rules took effect on March 14, 2023, with the following guidelines.

Gifts such as an overnight stay at a personal vacation home owned by a friend remain exempt from reporting requirements. But the revised rules require disclosure when judges are treated to stays at commercial properties, such as hotels, ski resorts or other private retreats owned by a company, rather than an individual. The changes also clarify that judges must report travel by private jet.

The ProPublica report included a statement from the friend of Justice Thomas. Crow stated that neither he nor his wife discussed a pending case with Justice Thomas. “We have never sought to influence Justice Thomas on any legal or political issue.”

Democrats are pushing for Justice Thomas to resign. I have even heard the word “impeached” being thrown around. However, there is no reason for the Justice to either resign or be impeached because he was reporting according to the previous rules and will report according to the new rules in the future.

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