Saturday, October 01, 2011


Democrats in the House are finally getting serious about looking into Justice Clarence Thomas's financial and ethics problems, calling for a formal inquiry by the US Judicial Conference and Eric Holder's Justice Department.

A group of House Democrats alleging that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas violated ethics rules by failing to report his wife’s income called for a federal investigation into the matter today.

The group of 20 House Democrats led by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the U.S. Judicial Conference, the governing body for federal courts, saying that Thomas has failed to report the income of his wife, Virginia, who earned $700,000 from 2003 to 2007 while working at the Heritage Foundation, according to news reports.

The letter came just days before the Supreme Court returns for the new session, during which it is expected to consider a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s sweeping health care law. With such high-profile issues on the horizon for the court, the lawmakers wrote, “it is vital that the Judicial Conference actively pursue any suspicious actions by Supreme Court Justices.”

"Suspicious", indeed.  Nobody doubts that Anthony Weiner was crusading to get this very inquiry started when the issue was lost in the tornado of his own ethics problems.  But in addition to the failure to disclose, there are a number of thorny ethical issues dogging Thomas, including his relationship with real estate tycoon Harlan Crow.  Thomas has been up to a number of seemingly hinky activities and has the power as a Supreme Court Justice to basically police himself.

The definitive piece on Thomas's ethical issues throughout his career comes from Allan Brauer and is definitely worth a long a careful read.  Finally it seems that Weiner is getting the investigation and attention to the issues that he asked for, but only after it played a part in wrecking his career and becoming a notch on Breitbart's belt.

I still don't expect this inquiry to go far or even for it to happen, but at least it's getting noticed.