Clarence Thomas's Alleged Ethic Violations Absolutely Debunked, Called 'Laughably Stupid'


The American left has been trying to take down Clarence Thomas since before he even took his seat on the Supreme Court.

In the years since the Donald Trump presidency tilted the court in the right direction, the effort has taken on an almost desperate air.

But the latest attack has come up even more empty than usual — being debunked less than a week after it debuted.

In a report last week, the liberal news site ProPublica (with the modest, self-effacing motto: “investigative journalism in the public interest”) churned out a hefty, nearly 3,000-word exposé documenting trips Thomas and his wife, Ginni, have taken with Texas real estate giant Harlan Crow and his wife, Kathy.

Heavy on loaded language and innuendo, the report implicitly condemned Thomas for having a wealthy friend, enjoying that friend’s company in the kind of settings wealthy people tend to inhabit, and thus hopelessly corrupting the judgment of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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To back up its claims, the report quoted “ethics experts” and current or retired judges who — amazingly — declare that Thomas “has broken long-standing norms for judges’ conduct.”

(One of those retired judges was Nancy Gertner, a Bill Clinton appointee who, ProPublica reported, is so anal about avoiding the appearance of impropriety that she “wouldn’t mention her title when making dinner reservations.” How many people reading this would even think of using their job title when making a dinner reservation?)

Liberals are eating up the report, of course. The always-annoying Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is using it as a reason to call for Thomas to be impeached — though she’s actually guilty of much worse abuses of power herself.

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But conservative legal experts have debunked the reports allegations conclusively, as Fox News reported. Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy, called it “politics plain and simple.”

The crux of ProPublica’s accusation is that Thomas did not report the trips with the Crows on his federal financial disclosure forms. In particular, ProPublica claimed the Crows paid for the Thomases’ travel aboard “private jets” and “superyachts” and stayed at a resort in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State that is owned by a Crow company.

But as the ProPublica report itself noted, federal filing instructions for judges and employees did not explicitly require such gifts to be reported until they were revised in March.

The fact that the issue was not put in writing until less than six weeks ago “actually further reinforces the fact that he’d been acting within the rules and according to the practice that has been understood for decades,” Severino told Fox.

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Naturally, the liberals quoted by ProPublica were damning. (The publication’s selfless motto, remember, is “investigative journalism in the public interest.”)

Gertner told ProPublica that Thomas’ actions were “incomprehensible.” (A normal person might think using your job title to make a dinner reservation is “incomprehensible.” So, “eye of the beholder” and all that.)

Virginia Canter, identified by ProPublica as a former government ethics lawyer who now works for the nonprofit group CREW, told ProPublica, “When a justice’s lifestyle is being subsidized by the rich and famous, it absolutely corrodes public trust. Quite frankly, it makes my heart sink.”

Quite frankly, it’s doubtful anyone’s heart is sinking over a report about how Clarence and Ginni Thomas spend their vacations.

As Severino told Fox, “Nobody with a straight face can say Justice Thomas has been influenced by anybody except by the Constitution and his best reading of it.”

And, in fact, no one has. For more than 30 years, Thomas has been a voice of consistent, constitutional conservativism on the court.

On any case, he’s certain to side most closely to the wording of the constitutional provision at hand, rather than straying recklessly (or deliberately) into the “living Constitution” idea of modern liberalism, which basically pretends that the document the Founders hammered out in Philadelphia more than 230 years ago actually means whatever any liberal reading it wants it to mean at any given time (plus, whatever “penumbras” might need to be invented to, say, justify abortion or depriving Americans of their right to bear arms).

But for the left, the second black man to serve on the Supreme Court is what the White Whale was to Melville’s Ahab — an obsession that can’t be abandoned. (Ocasio-Cortez is one of the worst afflicted.)

Ever since the Senate Judiciary Committee under then-Chairman Joe Biden turned Thomas’ confirmation hearing into an attempted character assassination in 1991, Thomas has been a target, because he’s a symbol of what liberals dread the most — a break in their lock on the black vote.

Or, as Georgia Democrat-turned-Republican Vernon Jones wrote in a Twitter post responding to the ProPublica piece: “The Left HATES him because he left their mental plantation.”

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza also mocked the ProPublica report as ideologically driven.

“Laughably stupid,” D’Souza wrote in a Twitter post. “He vacations with a rich friend, who also pays for dinner! Is this the best they’ve got? Clarence Thomas’ real offense is being black and conservative.”

And that’s the essence of Thomas’ real offense: His skin color and his towering intellect do not match the benighted stereotypes of American leftists who maintain that anyone with a melanin content like LeBron James or Al Sharpton should have a mindset to match.

The ProPublica article amounts to an attack on Thomas for violating rules that the article itself acknowledges were not “explicit” until after Thomas’ actions. (Of course, since ProPublica boasts the not-even-a-little-bit-cynical motto “investigative journalism in the public interest,” the public is merely encouraged to draw whatever conclusions ProPublica wants it to draw.)

On Friday, as Fox reported, Thomas issued a statement responding to the ProPublica report and the ensuing attacks with the forceful logic that is characteristic of his judicial writing, with an added element of personal dignity.

“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years,” the statement said.

“As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter century we have known them. 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 the disclosure guidelines,” he said. “These guidelines are now being changed, as the committee of the Judicial Conference responsible for financial disclosure for the entire federal judiciary just this past month announced new guidance. And, it is, of course, my intent to follow this guidance in the future.”

As Severino pointed out, when it comes to the ProPublica report, “there is no ‘there’ there.”

“This is just grasping at straws by the left that is desperate to tear down Justice Thomas because he now has a working originalist majority on the court,” Severino told Fox.

And that’s a position that terrifies liberals when it comes to Thomas — an independent black man despised by the American left, but a national hero, for all the right reasons.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.