Perhaps a billionaire hosting a Supreme Court Justice in his own home for pot roast is all fine and dandy as Justice Thomas Thomas insists. I suppose public servants do not give up the rights to friendships as a result of their service, although new reporting by CNN and ProPublica reveals that Clarence Thomas’ circle of “friendly” conservative billionaires is much wider than previously understood.
In addition to his mensch Harlan Crow, whom we have already read is reported to have treated Thomas to many luxury “vacation, flights, and gifts”, as well as purchasing his mother’s home while allowing her to continue to live in it, a wider circle of billionaire benefactors have enriched the Thomas’s downtime lifestyle during his tenure.
“During his three decades on the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas has enjoyed steady access to a lifestyle most Americans can only imagine. A cadre of industry titans and ultrawealthy executives have treated him to far-flung vacations aboard their yachts, ushered him into the premium suites at sporting events and sent their private jets to fetch him — including, on more than one occasion, an entire 737. It’s a stream of luxury that is both more extensive and from a wider circle than has been previously understood.
Like clockwork, Thomas’ leisure activities have been underwritten by benefactors who share the ideology that drives his jurisprudence. Their gifts include:
At least 38 destination vacations, including a previously unreported voyage on a yacht around the Bahamas; 26 private jet flights, plus an additional eight by helicopter; a dozen VIP passes to professional and college sporting events, typically perched in the skybox; two stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica; and one standing invitation to an uber-exclusive golf club overlooking the Atlantic coast.“
How nice! I don’t know about you, but it is a comfort to me knowing that the SCOTUS justice perhaps most devoted to upending a woman’s right to choose, stifling affirmative action and curtailing voting rights does not want for recreational activities.
And who are these newly reported billionaire patriotically insuring that Thomas is well rested from his exertions at screwing the 99% of us who cannot afford to sail him around in the Bahamas, you ask?
“The New York Times recently surfaced VIP treatment from wealthy businessmen he met through the Horatio Alger Association, an exclusive nonprofit. Among them were David Sokol, a former top executive at Berkshire Hathaway, and H. Wayne Huizenga, a billionaire who turned Blockbuster and Waste Management into national goliaths. (The Times noted Thomas gives access to the Supreme Court building for Horatio Alger events; ProPublica confirmed that the access has cost $1,500 or more in donations per person.)
Records and interviews show Thomas had another benefactor, oil baron Paul “Tony” Novelly, whose gifts to the justice have not previously been reported. ProPublica’s totals in this article include trips from Crow.”
The total value of the undisclosed trips they’ve given Thomas since 1991, the year he was appointed to the Supreme Court, is difficult to measure. But it’s likely in the millions.“
But surely this is just business as usual, you may say, and this sort of generosity and largess is not out of the ordinary.
Not so much.
“Perhaps even more significant, the pattern exposes consistent violations of judicial norms, experts, including seven current and former federal judges appointed by both parties, told ProPublica. “In my career I don’t remember ever seeing this degree of largesse given to anybody,” said Jeremy Fogel, a former federal judge who served for years on the judicial committee that reviews judges’ financial disclosures. “I think it’s unprecedented.”
I am probably at the limit of my fair usage, but if this poor article has not sufficiently allayed your concerns that Justice Thomas and his seditious spouse lack for adequate luxurious recreational activities you should click over to the ProPublica link and read all about it.
If you can stomach doing so.