Lawyers before the Supreme Court Venmo'd cash to a Clarence Thomas aide. They won their case

Originally published at: Lawyers before the Supreme Court Venmo'd cash to a Clarence Thomas aide. They won their case. | Boing Boing


See, i can’t even accept a lobster dinner on a date without it being assumed I’ll be “delivering the goods,” but this fucking guy…always given the benefit of the doubt.


This is such bullshit. If the Democrats retake the House in 2024, they have to impeach this asshole. It may not succeed, but this shit needs to be formally investigated, and that’s probably the only way it’s going to happen.


Thomas has consistently ruled that if it is not explicit quid pro quo, then it’s not corruption and the damage to government from loss in public trust due to the appearance of corruption doesn’t matter.

So he’s ethically consistent; he’s the same raging asshole in real life that he is in his court rulings.

Impeach him if he won’t step down, it needs to be done


I see it’s time to dust this one off:


Wouldn’t they also need two-thirds of the Senate present voting for it?

Short of picking the day most of Republicans ate the salmon, they’ll need some more votes there too.


They only need a simple majority of the House to impeach. They would then need a 2/3 majority of the Senate to convict and remove him from office. I realize there’s almost no chance of convicting him. I just want the formal investigation so this shit gets on record.


"The amount of the payments is not disclosed, but the purpose of is listed as either “Christmas party”, “Thomas Christmas Party”, “CT Christmas Party” or “CT Xmas party”, in an apparent reference to the justice’s initials.

However, it remains unclear what the funds were for."

It remains unclear what the funds were for.

Oh, FFS.

Perhaps – and I’m just spitballing here – they were for a Christmas party where people paid their own way. Seems rather a specific way of being not corrupt in that no one is underwriting an entire Christmas party.


No. If that were the explanation, then everyone involved would say that. Their silence says everything. His aide is refusing to comment. Thomas is refusing to comment. The lawyers are refusing to comment. If it were a simple, “Look, we were all just paying our own way to the Christmas party,” they would fucking say that. It would make this story disappear. Why aren’t they? Because it would be a lie, and there’s probably proof somewhere that it would be a lie, and they don’t want to compound the problem by lying about it.


What? Is that even a thing?
What are office Christmas parties like at your work?


Oh shit. So the issue isn’t the payments themselves, which didn’t go to Thomas, but what they reveal - that a bunch of the lawyers arguing cases before the S.C., and having Thomas rule in their favor, were his own former aides. Corruption issues aside, it’s all a big, incestuous C.F. of people who know each other doing each other favors.


Among Judges and their clerks, it is very much a thing.

I wasn’t good enough (or anywhere near good enough) to clerk for the Supreme Court, but I clerked for a Judge on the Eight Circuit and that unit – a Judge and his or her clerks – is an extended family that lasts for years. My Judge flew out to California to officiate my wedding. I’ve been back to where he sits for (at least) four events since I clerked there in the late 1990s. We recently had an 85th birthday party for the Judge and we had about 40-45 former clerks and spouses there. And a former clerk fronted the down payment for the venue and then all of us sent him money to cover it.

And if my network is nice, the network that exists within former clerks of a given SCOTUS justice – and between folks in that rarified universe – is even stronger. So, yeah, folks get together with their fellow clerks early and often.

But as for him being an asshole, don’t take it from me, take it from Justice Sotomoyor.


can we pay Clarance Thomas to overturn Loving vs. Virginia?

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Firstly, thank you for the context. I did not know that about the judicial system.

Did I say that, or are you putting words in my mouth? I think it’s the latter.
Thirdly, given that most of us are reading these most recent revelations about Thomas in the context of other recent revelations about him accepting gifts and such, are you trying to make the case that he hasn’t been swayed by bribes? Where are you coming from?
I get wanting accuracy in reporting, but must ask,

parks and recreation whats your point GIF


Sorry, did not mean to say you said CT is an asshole – not my intent – intended as a generally response to commentary from up above. Did not mean to overstate your opinion. Apologies.

As to my point – say what you will about vacations and what not – I think that stuff is sketch and CT ought not have taken these vacations – but Christmas party reimbursements certainly aren’t corruption, so forgive me if I find this article so much overegg in the custard.

That said, no, I don’t think CT has changed a vote based on any of these more recent revelations. If anyone can point to a case where CT voted in a way he wouldn’t have other than for the patronage of his supposed sponsors, I’d love to hear it. CT’s views are sincere and well-baked in. You may not like it, but I can’t see where there’s any quid pro quo when the quid was a mortal lock long before there was any quo in the offing.

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Being the presiding judge on cases while inviting council arguing before you to your christmas party is to corruption, no matter how often it may happen


these folks don’t give a flying fuck about their legacy - future history doesn’t help them now.


first, like @Scientist says: you shouldn’t be hanging out socially with people arguing cases before you. that’s unethical. nor, should they be paying for your christmas party, that too is unethical

however, even that presupposes that’s what this was. why on earth would we believe that. we have no accounting of this money, no disclosure, and only thomas and his office to trust. meanwhile, he has already proven himself untrustworthy and has already broken the law in other instances

lastly, judges are required to avoid the appearance of conflicts - and he’s definitely f’d that up too.

he’s not trustworthy, and he’s obviously influenced by his friends. this is just more evidence of that


Aha, the old Christmas loophole.

frustrated season 5 GIF

Also, who the fuck throws a Christmas party and then asks for reimbursement?


Or it is explicit cash transfers for bribes. I know from …sources that an awful lot of drug deals are listed as lunch or similar rather than tagged with the phrase criminal felony. Seriously, in any position of public trust you shouldn’t be taking money from people with matters before you. Hell you shouldn’t even be attending Christmas parties with them to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Here are some of the relevant parts of the ethics codes for other people in the federal judicial system.

Judicial employees
A judicial employee should not solicit or accept funds from lawyers or other persons likely to come before the judicial employee or the court or office the judicial employee serves, except as an incident to a general fund-raising activity.

Now, that doesn’t bind justices, but does show that the expectation up and down the ladder is avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. Direct financial transfers are dead center on the appearance of impropriety.

When everyone around is bound by strict ethical rules it can sometimes be easier than figuring out what is reportable and what would constitute undue influence, but even in those situations you shouldn’t be partying with people you are judging.

The standard every official should judge their behavior on isn’t the most they can get away with, but taking the actions that best preserve the integrity of our institutions.