Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Supreme Court Welfare Case

If Justices were paid by the word, Clarence Thomas would be eligible for those government assistance programs he hates, if it weren't for his family's right-wing welfare income, which Thomas' disclosure forms for 13 years "inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions."

In the five years since the Justice spoke in oral arguments carried on by colleagues with lawyers, he and Mrs. Thomas have been loquacious in lucrative self-expression that has brought them millions from the likes of the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch.

Between 2003 and 2007, Virginia Thomas was paid $700,000 by the Heritage Foundation alone, as Murdoch gave her husband $1 million for his premature memoir.

Now, Thomas, who has a keener sensitivity to injustice aimed at himself than others, is complaining to the Federalist Society in what one scholar calls a "Louis XIV moment" that "any criticism--even criticism that he is harming the court--is an attack on the institution. It is more than an embarrassing conceit; it can be a dangerous delusion for any justice."

But what can we expect from a Supreme Court Justice who can't grasp the complexity of forms meant to disclose conflicts of interest (ignorance of the law apparently is an excuse for High Court members) and, in 2000, saw no need to recuse himself from the case that awarded the presidency to the son of the man who had appointed him as he was still nursing grudges against Democrats in the confirmation process?

As health care reform inches its way to the High Court, before the case is heard, there is no doubt about how Clarence Thomas will vote.

Now, he tells Federalists that he and wife are "focused on defending liberty," and that "You all are going to be, unfortunately, the recipients of the fallout from that--that there's going to be a day when you need these institutions to be credible and to be fully functioning to protect your liberties."

No word on how much Thomas was paid for this ringing defense of his free speech.

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