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Clarence Thomas Wife's Investigated for Ethics Violations?

Subheading: 
SCOTUS Justice's spouse collects income from Tea Party groups
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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is already known for rarely writing a brief or hardly ever being a dissenter on cases that come his way. But now, his knack for inaction may land him in some hot water. 20 Congress members are seeking to investigate his wife's financial records after it was found that Thomas failed to disclose her income, which is required by law.

Think Progress via LA Times writes:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas failed to report his wife’s income from a conservative think tank on financial disclosure forms for at least five years, the watchdog group Common Cause said Friday.
Between 2003 and 2007, Virginia Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, earned $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, according to a Common Cause review of the foundation’s IRS records.

Thomas failed to note the income in his Supreme Court financial disclosure forms for those years, instead checking a box labeled “none” where “spousal noninvestment income” would be disclosed. [...]

Virginia Thomas also has been active in the group Liberty Central, an organization she founded to restore the “founding principles” of limited government and individual liberty. In his 2009 disclosure, Justice Thomas also reported spousal income as “none.” Common Cause contends that Liberty Central paid Virginia Thomas an unknown salary that year.

This revelation that Justice Thomas failed to comply with his disclosure obligations comes as he is caught up in another ethics scandal regarding his participation in fundraisers for far-right political groups. Thomas once attended a gathering of wealthy corporate activists convened by billionaire Charles Koch to raise money for right-wing political causes, and he also attended at least one fundraiser hosted by the far-right think tank that used to employ his wife.

A Supreme Court justice lending a hand to a political fundraising event would be a clear violation of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, if it wasn’t for the fact that the nine justices have exempted themselves from much of the ethical rules governing all other federal judges. Under the Code of Conduct, “a judge should not personally participate in fund-raising activities, solicit funds for any organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of judicial office for that purpose,” except in certain very narrow circumstances that don’t apply to the Koch and Heritage fundraisers.

​Shocking! A judge forgets to follow the rules he should be enforcing. Being that Thomas is one of the highest ranking judges in the land, it's a wonder what other members of the judicial branch are doing this. Guess he made somebody mad enough to leak the information out. Now that it's out there, a team of 20 Congress people are demanding an investigation into the matter. Should be interesting. Every time someone probes into Thomas' life, we find outwho he's been "probing."

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Author: 
Loop 21 Staff
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