Leonardo Leo and KellyAnn Conway made under-the-table payments to Ginni Thomas

Originally published at: Leonardo Leo and KellyAnn Conway made under-the-table payments to Ginni Thomas | Boing Boing


These were bribes, and Leonard Leo was the bagman.


this is sick. dude needs to step down.


It is bare, naked corruption.


There’s a far-right propaganda outlet called judicalwatch dot org which only frames this as “Why does the left hate Justice Thomas?”. But they’re all over the flimsiest of conflicts of interest of any left-of-far-right politics.

You could watch the video for the tinfoil hat/projectionist allegations of what the “left” wants, but you probably have a good idea.

Disclosure: My old man has been conned by these grifters.


Sotomayor was caught in some ethics problems, which I’m sure pisses off the right, because if they bring it up, then we have to talk about Thomas too.


on the bright side, at least what she did - not recuse herself from a case which benefitted the publisher of her book - happened right out in the open.

thomas has deliberately tried to hide all of these gifts. which is especially weird because it’s the lack of declaring that’s illegal. if he’d declared them, it would have simply been unethical.


Nothing To See Here GIF by Giphy QA


I assume they paid taxes on all of this stuff…


Laugh Lol GIF


Oof. It’s not like they need donations.


I think every lawyer bringing a case before the Supreme Court for the rest of Thomas’s tenure should request that Thomas recuse himself, as all this information shows he has a history of potential conflicts of interest that he has not revealed in previous cases and so “How can we trust that he’s not biased in this one?”


In theory I agree, but what happens if he says “No”? It already looks like Roberts won’t do squat.


I can’t wait for John Oliver to set up a “Go Fund Me” page in the most hilarious way possible to “acquire” favorable decisions from conservative SC justices.

Once the writer’s strike ends, of course. (Support our Creatives!)

It’s not like the pustulant sores that are the conservative justices will reform themselves before then…


Yeah there’s a fundamental problem with accountability when it comes to SCOTUS. There is no one to hold them accountable except for themselves. There are some ethics rules that apply to them (not enough, though), but, unlike the lower courts, there literally isn’t anyone who can enforce them. The only way to hold them accountable right now is to impeach them, and with Republicans holding a majority (barely) in the House, that’s just not going to happen. Right now, SCOTUS is acting just like the police do when one of their own does something wrong. Even the “good” ones cover for the corrupt ones. I’m not sure this is fixable, either. But SCOTUS needs to be careful, because when you really look at the fundamental source of their power and authority, it’s entirely because the other branches of government have decided to let them have it. The judicial branch has no inherent ability to enforce its own decisions. They rely entirely on the other two branches to enforce their decisions. If the other two someday just decide not to, then SCOTUS immediately becomes almost completely irrelevant. They’d better realize this and get their house in order.


Gorsuch too. And yes, unlike Thomas, in both of their cases everything was reported. (Apparently book royalties aren’t subject to the same limitations as other income, gifts etc.)

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After his tenure ends, if evidence that he was in fact biased comes out despite him explicitly refusing to recuse himself, the party on the side Thomas ruled against could argue that hidden bias rendered the decision unjust and ask to have the case reheard by the new Court. It’s grounds for an “appeal” IMO.


Boy, Mr and Mrs Thomas seem not just incredibly corrupt, but like total assholes on every possible level. Clarence has apparently given these speeches talking about his sister being this lazy, shiftless woman on welfare, and how she was raising her children to be dependent - and it turns out to be total bullshit, maligning a woman and her children who are, in fact, incredibly hard-working people who suffered misfortunes and took care of family members who suffered misfortunes. Unlike Clarence.


I just figured this out. Critics have complained (for a long time) that Supreme Court justices should protect their images by not doing things that look like corruption. The Thomas/Thomas/Crow/Etc. affair doesn’t look like corruption. It is corruption. Therefore it’s not covered by the above complaints. Everything’s fine now; we can all go home.


This story, like the rest of the Thomas news recently, has made me revisit Thomas’s Citizen’s United dissent with a newly redoubled rage.

As folks here know, the Citizen’s United decision overturned any restrictions on corporate political spending. What fewer remember is that Thomas wrote a short dissent in part where he claimed that they didn’t go far enough and should have also thrown out all disclosure laws, because corporations/politicians could face public blowback for corrupting democracy. His example was how it was unfair that companies that campaigned against gay marriage had customers protest them (unfairly chilling their right to influence the government).

At the time I thought he was just a raging asshole. Now I realize he was also thinking of all the corrupt money he and his wife take and actively trying to keep it from coming to light. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

If anyone wants to read his opening. “speech” means giving money here:

I dissent from Part IV of the Court’s opinion, however, because the Court’s constitutional analysis does not go far enough. The disclosure, disclaimer, and reporting requirements in BCRA §§201 and 311 are also unconstitutional.
Congress may not abridge the “right to anonymous speech” based on the “‘simple interest in providing voters with additional relevant information,’”