Ted Cruz Wants You To Believe That The ‘Real’ Racism Is Holding Powerful Multimillionaires Entrusted To Enforce And Obey The Law Accountable

Supreme Court Justices Testify At House Budget Hearing Clarence thomas

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Okay. This title may have been a bit of clickbait. I do not know if Clarence Thomas is a multimillionaire. According to this article, he only has a net worth of a million dollars. That said, it is difficult to pinpoint how much he actually has considering that he hasn’t been adhering to federal reporting guidelines since at least George W. Bush Jr.’s second presidency. Since being ethered by ProPublica, Clarence Thomas has promised to now report the lavish lifestyle made possible by his friends. Will he? Who knows — there’s no real binding code of ethics for the Supreme Court and people in other branches of the government are rushing to his defense. From HuffPost:

Republicans defended Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday after it was reported that he failed to disclose gifts and a real estate transaction from a billionaire GOP donor.

“Justice Thomas has been attacked and excoriated since his confirmation hearing, and I suspect this is just a continuation of that,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told HuffPost on Monday.

“Ask how many senators have had to do that — ask how many senators have welcomed personal hospitality. I think that would be an interesting story,” Cornyn added.

I really do not think that this is the take-down argument you think that it is, bro. Know why? It is still illegal when senators do it. Take Ted Stevens, for example, an Alaskan senator who was found guilty because of his failure to disclose $250k or so in gifts, which, mind you, is several times less than the value of the undisclosed gifts Thomas received from his glucose guardian Harlan Crow. And if Cornyn’s intent was just to draw attention to the ubiquity of senators, ahem, not following the laws, we as a people should be very suspicious when these law-and-order candidates — especially Cornyn’s “Time to Be Smart, Not Just Tough On Crime” schtick — shove the importance of following the rules down our throats. Because I’m damned sure if I decided to not report the amount of cash and goods these folks are receiving because I consider them to be “personal hospitality,” I’d be treated to some nice housing accommodations on behalf of the state. And just so we are clear, by that I mean jail.

Here’s the kicker — this isn’t even the worst of the scrambling to maintain whatever legitimacy the Court managed to clutch to itself. Know what it means if you think that the rule of law matters in this context? You’re racist. Just ask Ted Cruz.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), meanwhile, accused Democrats of racism by singling out Thomas for failing to report financial ties to a Republican billionaire donor, even though there’s no evidence of other Supreme Court justices failing to report such arrangements.

“The left has always had a special derision for Justice Thomas because he’s a Black man who dares to be a conservative,” Cruz said.

That part bears repeating — it appears that every other judge is following the law and reporting in line with their judicial obligations. And let’s not scapegoat the particularities of Justice Thomas’s gift on his race; dude has been in the news for this crap for two decades. Don’t believe me? Here’s an article from 2004. And this excerpt from it applied just as well then as it does now:

“Why would someone do that — give a gift to Clarence Thomas? Unless they are family members or really close friends, the only reason to give gifts is to influence the judge,” said Mark Harrison, a Phoenix lawyer who heads the ABA’s Commission on the Model Code of Judicial Conduct. “And we think it is not helpful to have judges accepting gifts for no apparent reason.”

Thomas, through a court spokeswoman, declined to comment. But a former clerk to Thomas defended the practice.

“I don’t see why it is inappropriate to get gifts from friends,” said John Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “This reflects a bizarre effort to over-ethicize everyday life. If one of these people were to appear before the Supreme Court, Justice Thomas would recuse himself. So I don’t see the problem.”

I’d also like to forgive Yoo’s naivete — hindsight is 2020 — but I think time has shown it to be very likely that Thomas would not in fact recuse himself if a case that he ought to recuse himself for presented itself before him.

There’s been at least one Republican voice of reason so far. Yes, it is Mitt Romney:

Only one GOP senator, Mitt Romney of Utah, told HuffPost on Monday he had concerns about Thomas’ failure to disclose his ties with Crow.

“If the reports are accurate, it stinks,” Romney said. When pressed to elaborate, he added, “I don’t have to explain more than that.”

In closing, I’d like to take note of the ways we’ve seen folks desperate to excuse 20+ years of flagrant misfeasance so far:

  1. The real problem is liberals — I’ll be grouping Ted Cruz and WSJ here for this.


2. Word Salad where Ben Shapiro managed to not only handwave the decades of illegality, but also found the time to argue that the reason a person (namely Harlan Crow) might be collecting large amounts of Nazi paraphernalia is because it is just so damned hard to remember those atrocities without proof dangling in your living room. No, that actually happened:

Let’s keep our eyes peeled for how absurd the third thing will be. I assume it will be some variation of what @Wasps_n_Moths said:

GOP Defends Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Amid Disclosure Failures [HuffPost]

Earlier: Judge That Received Millions In Unreported Gifts Over Two Decades Had The Gall To Sit On A Bribery Case
Paragon Of Virtue Clarence Thomas Has Been Given Millions Of Dollars In Value Off The Record And It Totally Hasn’t Impacted His Judging. Not One Bit. Nope.

Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s.  He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at cwilliams@abovethelaw.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.


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