Earlier this week, news broke that Clarence Thomas, best known both for being an associate justice on the United State Supreme Court and being my birthday buddy (June 23rd!) has been naughty again.
Our not-favorite-of-all-time Justice has a long history of being naughty on the court. Much of said naughtiness is really bad, at least if you care about democracy and the rule of law. If you don’t, then he’s been spectacular! Most troubling has been his insistence on deciding cases involving parties and issues his wife is deeply involved with, such as overturning the 2020 election and sending Joe Biden to a prison barge pending his defenestration to Gitmo.
According to Thomas, he and his wife only talk about their preferences in porcelain figurines and never discuss the things they are most passionate about and have dedicated their lives to. Sounds reasonable. My wife Jen and I are similar. We never discuss politics, food, our children or our plans for the day. We focus exclusively on making strange warbling sounds reminiscent of the Tufted Grouse, which is, after all, Pennsylvania’s state bird.
Thomas’s newest infraction is a bit more venal. It seems that he has accepted approximately twenty luxury trips from a conservative billionaire and GOP donor named Harlan Crow (I’m not making that name up!). These included yacht trips around the world, flights on private planes, and free stays at the billionaire’s exclusive resort. Further, Thomas neglected to disclose any of this on his financial disclosure statements as required by law (oopsie!).
Fortunately, Mr. Crow assures us that he and Thomas never discussed any cases before the Supreme Court. He didn’t disclose what they did discuss, although, they really should give the tufted grouse warbling thing a try.
Obviously, suckling on gilded teet of partisan plutocrats isn’t what we would expect of our most elevated jurists. I want to state clearly that I never accepted any luxury trips when I was in public service. This was a function of my deep commitment to the highest standards of personal integrity. That, and the fact that I was never invited to any. Although, I will say….Harlan….Harlan….now that I am no longer in the public sector, I am open to joining you on any available…