From where I’m sitting, the only small ray of bitter sunshine in this whole pathetic Clarence Thomas saga is that Thomas is currently cementing his historical legacy as the most incompetent, morally bankrupt, corrupt  Supreme Court Justice in American history. The only consolation so far is that in this current kerfuffle, he has done no lasting damage.

Pop Quiz on anybody out there name another sitting associate justice of the Supreme Court in history who had his wife interviewed by a special House committee investigating an actual armed insurrection on the United States government? Because she’s a conspiracy theory wingnut? Any body? Yeah, me neither. In a functioning American court system, Thomas should be automatically recused from any case dealing with the 2020 election, or the January 6th insurrection.

But twice now Clarence Thomas has jumped in and put his finger on the scales of justice. A few weeks ago, when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals spanked Kindergarten judge Aileen Cannon, Trump made an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court. Thomas has administrative authority over the 11th Circuit, so he issued a temporary stay, and referred the issue to the whole court for consideration. When the whole court opined, they slapped Trump’s lawyers down 9-0, which means even Thomas voted to not hear the case.

And now he’s at it again. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis served a subpoena on South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham to appear before her special grand jury to explain his calls to the Georgia Secretary of State questioning the legitimacy of thousands of mail in ballots.

Graham filed a suit in federal court in South Carolina to quash the subpoena on some bullshit nonsense of Senatorial speech privilege, and conduction of duties. The SC court told him to put his big boy pants on, and go talk to the nice lady in Georgia. Graham filed an appeal, which, based on geography, went to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Sensing a probable spanking by the 11th Circuit, Graham made an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court to intervene and hear the case.

Which brings us right back to Justice Clarence Thomas. And Thomas came through for his wife’s homey by providing another temporary stay. He has given Willis until Thursday to formally respond to Graham’s plea. At this point, Thomas will have 3 options available. He can read Willis’s response, shoot Graham down, and send him into the lion’s den in Atlanta. Or he can decide that Graham’s case has overwhelming constitutional precedent on its side, and give him a free pass. Or most likely, since neither Graham’s original suit nor his appeal has a shred of constitutional law to support it, he’ll boot it to the whole court, and then vote it down with the rest. In other words, a wuss.

Here’s the problem. Clarence Thomas is the longest serving associate justice on the court. You’d like to think he has a kind of a feel for the job after all this time. And yet, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, with less than 2 years under her belt, recently got an emergency appeal from a group trying to block President Biden’s student loan debt relief plan. She picked up the appeal, took a deep whiff, and after she stopped coughing and her eyes stopped watering from the stench, told the plaintiffs to Get that lame shit out of her court! How pathetic is it when the most junior member of the court has bigger and better balls than the senior associate justice?

But here’s the rub. Thomas’s obvious perfidy and refusal to show any moral clarity is making Chief Justice John Roberts look like an incompetent moron.

fortunately for Roberts, he’s had years now to get used to it. From the time that Trump and McConnell hammered through credibly accused sexual assaulter Brewski Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court, almost in unison the national media started calling it the Kavanaugh Supreme Court, instead of the Roberts court. And after appointing Barrett, Trump has taken to calling it MY Supreme Court, staffed by MY justices. Regardless of what Roberts does, Trump has already permanently politicized the Roberts court in the public view and opinion.

He’s doing what he can, and for their part, the Trump appointees are pitching in. The SCOTUS shot down Trump on 2 appeals in the legal cases following the 2020 election. They did it again in the classified documents case, and I suspect they’ll do it again for the Graham appeal. But Roberts can’t erase the stench for one simple reason.

It’s called a runaway court for a reason. The job of the Chief Justice is to provide the moral compass for the court, make sure that their decisions are based solely on the law, and not on personal, ideological, or political reasons. There are sanctions if those rules are violated. But they don’t apply to the Supreme Court. And as a result, Roberts has a runaway rogue, clearly biased and conflicted, clomping around like Frankenstein’s monster, pillaging the legal countryside.

Here’s the funny thing. While it’s a lose-lose situation for Roberts, it’s a win-win topic for the Democrats. In the last 14 days, run on SCOTUS reform whenever you can. The only short term solution is to add seats to the court to rein in the insanity of the Federalist Society bought court. It will play with the African American community, incensed over the erosion of civil and voting rights. It will play with the LGBTQ community, fearful of the erosion of their hard fought rights. And it will as sure as shit play with women furious over the carving out of their personal autonomy. As former MSNBC host Chris Matthews used to say, Dance with the one who brung ya. 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall tomorrow when the Justices meet for their daily conference. Given all their grand designs they are itching to get at to dismantle decades of hard won rights THIS is exactly the kind of distraction even Thomas’ fellow Federalist Society Fascists will come down on Thomas like a ton of bricks. I can only imagine him hinting how much trouble he’d have been in at home if he’d told Graham (in polite legal terms) to fuck off. In a way I hope he does whine about that. If nothing else the other guys on the Court can derive a bit of enjoyment from the women (even Barrett) giving him that “mom look” – the one we’ve all gotten that made us feel like we were shrinking into nothing!

    Two Trump appointed Judges were on that 11th Circuit Panel that told Graham to go pound sand, and to get his ass into the grand jury room. So I don’t see SCOTUS throwing Graham a lifeline. The most they might do is drag out their “fuck off” decision to NOT hear the case until after the midterms. And hell, Thomas himself might go along and make it unanimous like the decision against Trump in the documents case. He just wanted some cover from getting a chunk taken out of his ass by his wife.

    If he had a single atom in his body containing self-respect and decency he’s resign effective immediately. Of course, had he had any such qualities he’d never have accepted Bush 41’s nomination in the first place!

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    • I’m on record for saying that when this is over, Trump will be blamed for as many of the larger GOP’s missteps as possible. When it comes to SCOTUS, anyone else getting the feeling Thomas is also being setup for same?

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      • Thomas was I think the GOP’s first big-time “own the libs” move. Thurgood Marshall was a Titan, both personally and as a jurist. The mold was broken when Thomas was made, and he spent a lifetime breaking other molds & barriers in his quest to expand the rights set forth in our Constitution to ALL Americans. Being the first non-white on SCOTUS just rankled the shit out of conservatives. Hell, Marshall was undoubtably a driving factor behind the formation of the Fascist Federalist Society, an organization I might add Thomas was part of from the start. No doubt Marshall would have liked to continue but at the time of his appointment Bush 41 seemed set for a second term and he knew his own time was limited. But overall he, like others didn’t realize the full measure of the elder Bush’s mean streak which sometimes broke through his general moderate, albeit still strongly conservative nature. Bush had ONE goal in mind when he sought Marshall’s replacement – to find a hard-core BLACK ultra conservative and Thomas was his guy. At the time, nominating someone with such thin credentials wasn’t done. But Thomas was EXACTLY what Bush wanted, and the GOP gleefully went along with it. It was a gigantic, FUCK YOU MARSHALL & every other black person and “liberal” n-word lovers!” Sadly, Thomas has spent his entire time on SCOTUS doing exactly what conservatives wanted him to do. Realizing how offensive the term is I’m going to use it anyway – Thomas was intended to be, and has been the “Uncle Tom”/”House n-word” he was supposed to be. “Uncle Clarence” should replace Uncle Tom in the lexicon as far as I’m concerned.

        Having said all that, he has because of his wife become something of a liability. I suspect many would have like for him to retire while Trump was still President so they could ensure another RWNJ Federalist Society Fascist in their early forties could be appointed to guarantee another three-plus decades of Thomas type “justice.” His wife has become an embarrassment to both him, the Court and the conservative movement. If we can prevail in a couple of weeks, and again in 2024 the stage might be set, thanks to Thomas and his wife to expand SCOTUS. One of the justifications could be forcing on them the requirement for recusal from cases where they have a conflict of interest. Another would be that with an expanded Court, instead of a single Justice overseeing motions from a given Circuit, a panel of three Justices would be assigned. One could still be the point of contact but their authority on a motion could be limited to 24 hours, giving time for the other two Justices to weigh in. Had that been the case with Graham his trip to the grand jury room would already be scheduled!

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    • Even though Biden voted to confirm Thomas, he should never have been nominated, pet alone confirmed. it was truly Orrin Hatch’s obscene trashing of Anita Hill, a completely reluctant witness at best, but completely credible, who should have been heeded. But the same standard applied to accuse the witness, rather than the nominee in the Kavnaugh case. If the court is not expanded, should the Dems take both house and senate (from our lips to God’s ear) then we will see the destruction of whatever we have left of the founders’ ideas of right and responsibility of government.

  2. Cenk Uygur at The Young Turks, so an impeccably left-wing source, has an interesting take on this one.

    Basically, he says that while the failure to recuse is disgraceful the DECISION (to grant the temporary stay) is correct.

    • No. Regardless of what Uygur has to say, it was NOT “correct.” Graham was NOT acting in any sort of capacity as a SENATOR when he called election officials in GEORGIA. Graham is NOT a Senator from the State of Georgia and he had absolutely NO business speaking to ANY official who had any sort of involvement with the 2020 elections in Georgia.

      He *might* have had some valid reason to speak with elections officials in South Carolina (the state which he represents in the Senate) but his LEGAL “Constitutional” duties have absolutely NOTHING to do with election results in Georgia.

      Thomas overstepped his bounds in this decision. His failure to recuse was NEVER in question; we ALL know that Thomas will not recuse on ANY subject in which he (or his wife, Ginni) has any involvement at all. Thomas has been called on to recuse himself on numerous occasions and he has NEVER recused himself for any reason. If Uygur thought–for even half a second–that Thomas would “do the right thing” and recuse himself, well, that just goes to show how incredibly stupid Uygur is.

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      • I disagree–Miss Lindsay has no valid reason to speak with ANY elections officials. Elections officials are STATE officials. A U.S. senator has no business interfering. Period.

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  3. Yes, thomas is tool. Yes, Roberts is an incompetent moron. This is not news. No one should be surprised at what thomas has done–not with his wife’s rampant and stupid treason and his explicit approval of her behavior (his refusal to recuse being the most obvious proof). I would have made book that thomas would do everything in his power to muck up the works. BIG TIME. And I would have made big $$ on this.

    thomas needs to be removed from the s.c. NOW.

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  4. Does any of these actions in this day and age by the NOT SUPREME COURT surprise anyone?
    AMERICA IS BROKEN BADLY! Neither party has any plans to start AMERICAS overhaul, as much as i’d like to say vote straight blue in 22 (I already did) I don’t think any politician cares enough about the death of democracy to do a damn thing about any of it! Without reforms AMERICA is without doubt OVER!

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