What Should Happen to Clarence Thomas?

By Andrew Kreig /Director's Blog

Battle lines are shaping up in predictable fashion over a new scandal involving Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The Washington establishment that automatically defers to pomp, power and fellow insiders maintains that he should simply be allowed to correct his sworn filings omiting vast amounts of family income from his required financial disclosure filings. Others say he should be subjected to penalties that others receive for false statements.

Our Washington Update weekly public affairs radio show next week will present Common Cause, which broke the scandal on Jan. 22 via an article in the Los Angeles Times. In the meantime, check out this selection of commentary by others. Note particularly how others are imprisoned for offenses comparable or even arguably far less culpaple. Different people draw the line in different places. But one of the more dramatic recent imprisonments is described below: An Ohio judge jailed a single-mother for signing paperwork falsely stating that her children lived with her father so that they could attend a better school than in her blighted urban area.

ABC-News, Ohio Mom Kelley Williams-Bolar Jailed for Sending Kids to Better School District:
Judge Sentenced Mother Convicted of Falsifying Residency Records to 10 Days in Jail
, Andrea Canning and Leezel Tanglao, Jan. 26, 2011. Kelley Williams-Bolar was convicted of lying about her residency to get her daughters into a better school district. But it wasn't her Akron district of residence, so her children were ineligible to attend school there, even though her father lived within the district's boundaries.

Legal Schnauzer, What Do Clarence Thomas and Martha Stewart Have in Common? Roger Shuler, Jan. 27, 2011. Stewart, Jones, Bonds, and Clemens, writes one defense lawyer, essentially got in trouble for proclaiming their innocence. If the feds decide a person is lying about his innocence, that person can wind up in prison. As for Clarence Thomas, he did not proclaim his innocence. He simply, over and over, stated that his wife had no non-investment income--even though she was receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from conservative advocacy groups.

Daily Kos, Thomas Should be Indicted, Alaska Dave, Jan. 27, 2011. It is outrageous that Clarence Thomas can get by year after year denying that his wife was being paid over $100,000/year by the Heritage Foundation and yet an FBI agent who fails to disclose on his Financial Disclosure Report gets indicted.

Previous Articles on Justice Thomas Scandal
Legal Schnauzer, Will Clarence Thomas get away with a federal crime? Roger Shuler, Jan. 25, 2011. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is amending financial-disclosure forms dating back more than 20 years, in an apparent effort to avoid prosecution for making false statements to the United States government. Hal Neilson, an FBI special agent in Oxford, Mississippi, undoubtedly wishes he had been given such an opportunity. He also probably wishes the mainstream press would try to make the kind of excuses for him that are being made for Clarence Thomas.

Washington Post, Supreme Court won't be fully represented, Robert Barnes, Jan. 25, 2011. A combination of events, concluding with the question of which justices will attend President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, has brought complaints, partisan charges and renewed scrutiny to the court. Justice Antonin Scalia's decision to give constitutional pointers Monday to the House Tea Party Caucus headed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) prompted a debate among judicial ethicists about whether justices should associate with political groups that have clear interests on issues that will probably come before the court. Before that, the first anniversary of the court's decision to give corporations and unions a greater role in campaign spending brought renewed criticism from liberal groups and complaints about two justices from a government watchdog group.

New York Times, Thomas Cites Failure to Disclose Wife’s Job, Eric Lichtblau, Jan. 24, 2011. Under pressure from liberal critics, Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court acknowledged in filings released on Monday that he erred by not disclosing his wife’s past employment as required by federal law.

Legal Schnauzer, Mississippi FBI Agent Is Cleared on Federal Charges Amid More DOJ Ugliness, Roger Shuler, Jan. 26, 2011. So [Mississippi FBI agent Hal] Neilson reported the unlawful targeting of Muslims and wound up being indicted by the Bush DOJ -- and the Obama administration moved ahead with a tainted, and probably bogus, prosecution. To those of us who live in Alabama, that story sure sounds familiar.

Washington Post, Bush officials violated Hatch Act, agency concludes, R. Jeffrey Smith, Jan. 25, 2011. At least seven Cabinet secretaries to President George W. Bush took politically motivated trips at taxpayer expense while aides falsely claimed they were traveling on official business, the independent Office of Special Counsel said Monday night in concluding a three-year probe.

 

Links to each of these articles are provided in the subsite News Reports located via a button at the top of our home page. The articles are arranged by date, with links to the full text.

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