There are more red flags coming from Clarence Thomas’s behavior than you would find in a parade at the Kremlin. 2006 was a while back and it is the starting point for today’s story of financial malfeasance by the supreme court justice. Clarence Thomas conveniently managed to forget that Ginger LTD Partnership became Ginger Holdings, LLC, and since 2006 he has reported $50,000 to $100,000 income yearly from the defunct company — which happens to be run by his sister-in-law, who referred all comments about the company to his wife, Ginni, before hanging up the phone.
Thomas clearly feels little, if any, responsibility to accurately inform the public of how much money he makes and how he makes it. If he was a small-town justice of the peace, this pattern of behavior would be considered an impeachable offense. The big question now, is, what exactly can Thomas get away with? Washington Post:
The previously unreported misstatement might be dismissed as a paperwork error. But it is among a series of errors and omissions that Thomas has made on required annual financial disclosure forms over the past several decades, a review of those records shows. Together, they have raised questions about how seriously Thomas views his responsibility to accurately report details about his finances to the public.
Thomas’s disclosure history is in the spotlight after ProPublica revealed this month that a Texas billionaire took him on lavish vacations and also bought from Thomas and his relatives a Georgia home where his mother lives, a transaction that was not disclosed on the forms. Thomas said in a statement that colleagues he did not name told him he did not have to report the vacations and that he has always tried to comply with disclosure guidelines. He has not publicly addressed the property transaction.
In 2011, after the watchdog group Common Cause raised red flags, Thomas updated years of his financial disclosure reports to include employment details for his wife, conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas. The justice said at the time that he had not understood the filing instructions. In 2020, he was forced to revise his disclosure forms after a different watchdog group found he had failed to report reimbursements for trips to speak at two law schools.
The man is losing credibility like a sieve.
“Any presumption in favor of Thomas’s integrity and commitment to comply with the law is gone. His assurances and promises cannot be trusted. Is there more? What’s the whole story? The nation needs to know,” said Stephen Gillers, a legal ethics expert at New York University.
Gillers said all three branches of government should investigate Thomas’s compliance or noncompliance with federal ethics law. “The Supreme Court has been the glue that has held the republic together since 1790 with the Civil War the only interruption. We need the public to respect it even when it disagrees with it and to understand why it is important. Generally, the public has,” he said. “But that respect is now in serious jeopardy, and others must do something to stop the free fall.”
And don’t forget the $686,000 that Ginni Thomas earned working for the Heritage Foundation. What she purportedly did there to earn that kind of money, I would love to know. Her husband earns a meager $285,000 a year sitting on the highest court in the land. Maybe Clarence didn’t want to be embarrassed, because he found his way clear to check the box marked “None” for his wife’s income that year, claiming confusion over the filing instructions. A judge on our highest court and he is thrown by something simple like a filing instruction? Makes you question his powers of discernment in other areas, doesn’t it?
Read Jonathan Last’s blistering description of Ginni Thomas as “a boomer with an internet connection, an important spouse and too much time on her hands,” and then figure out how she brought almost point seven million dollars worth of value to the Heritage Foundation. The mind reels.