'Not pretty': New analysis explains just how bad Clarence Thomas’ gift timeline really is

'Not pretty': New analysis explains just how bad Clarence Thomas’ gift timeline really is
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Creative Commons).

A new analysis is explaining why the timeline of gifts received by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas only makes things worse.

In a new article published by The Daily Beast, political reporter Ursula Perano argues that the justice "has been the decisive vote on a number of cases that benefitted the people who were economically benefitting him."

According to Perano, the timing of the gifts Thomas received may lead to questions about some of the key votes he's placed and how those gifts might have impacted his decision-making.

READ MORE: The origins of our investigation into Clarence Thomas’ relationship with Harlan Crow

"While the conservative Supreme Court justice’s failure to disclose these gifts is a scandal in its own right, it’d be a much more troubling situation if someone could draw a line between the gifts Thomas received and some of the decisions he’s made on the bench," Perano wrote.

She added, "And while that line is difficult to draw without Thomas himself admitting that certain gifts affected his jurisprudence—fat chance—the timeline connecting some of Thomas’ most controversial decisions with these newly reported gifts is damning enough for some good government experts to say Thomas is in an 'untenable' position."

Perano went on to explain another aspect of the problem and how multiple Republican benefactors have contributed to gifts provided to Thomas and his wife.

"First, there are the gifts. Thomas’ primary benefactor was GOP megadonor—and billionaire—Harlan Crow. Crow has bankrolled numerous Republican candidates," she wrote. "He curiously collects Nazi memorabilia. He reportedly has a garden full of statues of dictators. And he funded opportunities for Thomas’ family—multiple vacations, years of pricey private tuition for someone Thomas considers a son—and he bought real estate from the Thomas family."

READ MORE: Why Clarence Thomas’ 'hilarious' explanation for gifts from GOP megadonor fall painfully flat

"But Crow isn’t the only Republican giving generously to the Thomas household," she added. "Conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo also funneled $80,000—in a small world way, through Kellyanne Conway—to Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas."

Legal experts have also weighed in to highlight similar issues. Speaking to the news outlet, Virginia Canter — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's (CREW) chief ethics counsel — argued that Thomas cannot be given "the benefit of the doubt."

“Given the extent of these gifts and payments and benefits, the real estate transactions, you cannot give him the benefit of the doubt that he has the requisite independence to be able to preside in these cases,” Canter said.

She added, “And he didn’t recuse himself when I think his impartiality was in question. And this, when you step back, when you look at all these facts and circumstances, I mean, we certainly can’t expect it going forward."

READ MORE: Conservatives defending Harlan Crow’s gifts to Clarence Thomas also have ties to GOP megadonor: report

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