Conflict Of Interest In The US Supreme Court
Conflict Of Interest In The US Supreme Court
By Reza Ganjavi
Some of the USA Supreme Court justices have deep and very troubling conflicts of interest. Unfortunately as of now, in May 2023, there are no laws that bar them from acting unethically. They're basically not accountable. There are some vague laws that might apply but in practicality, they can get away with conflict of interest without reporting it.
All three cases of ethical issues listed here are by far-right-wing justices who are Republican and so-called conservative. Though I don't see anything conservative about being so reckless, irresponsible, and unethical.
The American Experiment should do better than this. It desperately needs checks and balances and accountability at the highest level of the judiciary.
JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS
The most recent embarrassment comes in the case of Justice Clarence Thomas - an overweight (or obese) African-American judge who is married to an overweight (or obese) white woman who has had troubling radical views like supporting Donald Trump, the chronic immoral criminal former US President's Big Lie that the election was stolen from him. That lie cost Fox News, a racist media outlet 787.5 million dollars in civil penalties! See the related article on my site www.rezamusic.com's writings section.
It was recently revealed that Justice Thomas and his wife have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in perks from the Billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow in the form of luxury super yacht cruises, private jumbo-jet luxury vacation trips, etc. The Justice conveniently "forgot" to report the mega gifts and his excuse is that he asked another judge and he was told it was ok not to report it! Great!
His other excuse is that he is dear personal friends with the Billionaire. Really? It turns out that they didn't know each other before Thomas becomes a Supreme Court justice, and probably would have not been friends if it weren't for his powerful position. The whole stinks big time. His wife is a piece of work and lobbied to try to overturn the results of a free and fair election that the world envies in terms of quality, in favor of a chronic liar criminal like Donald Trump.
Clarence Thomas did not report real estate sale to the Billionaire which he was supposed to, legally, under a federal law (5 U.S. Code § 13104) that requires real estate sale over $1000 to be reported by justices and other officials (as well as most gifts, payments, items of value). This law was passed after the Watergate corruption scandal. After buying the house where Thomas' mother (still) lives in, and continued throwing money at it with major upgrades -- and she continued to live in that house, reportedly without paying rent. Crow also bought two pieces of land from Justice Thomas. It's obvious that Clarence Thomas was hiding a financial relationship with the Billionaire. He intentionally did not report the sale on that year's report where he reported details of things like a “stained glass medallion” he received from Yale University. But no mention of the financial dealings with his "dear friend" Harlan Crow.
I find this so incredibly corrupt and disturbing. My father's stellar career included many years as the Supreme Court Justice. He was a man of honor and impeccable reputation for his integrity, competence, fairness, compassion and kindness. His friends said if he wanted our house bricks could have been made from gold (if he was corrupt and accepted the kinds of gifts that Justice Thomas accepted). But he did not because integrity was important to him and he was not for sale.
What Harlan and Kathy Crow or Virginia "Ginni" Thomas don't know is that by such actions they're putting the American dream at risk of turning into a corrupt dictatorship -- which is what Trump wanted, and his motive was just to avoid prosecution for his numerous crimes. In a corrupt dictatorship, the billionaires will be worse off too because we are the whole and the whole is us. When the populace is short-changed and its quality of life goes down in favor of a few elites, the country suffers, and all the macro-level aspects of the society which the elite also share, also degrade. This kind of corruption is a shot at the very heart of the noble American Experiment.
During George W. Bush who was the worst US President (in my view, even worse than Donald Trump’s) there were surveys during his reelection campaign. The millionaires were supporting his policies that favored the rich but the billionaires were not because they knew that their good is tied to the common good.
Justice Thomas has had a history of ruling against disclosures!! No wonder!! He should really resign. What a disgrace he has turned out to be after all the recent revelations. His excuses for his anti-disclosure (pro-corruption) court rulings have been that if you disclose, you become subject to reprisals, harassment and bullying -- in his crooked view.
While he was promoting this doctrine that disclosure is a bad thing, that if you require disclosure you're a bully -- he's been secretly living an ethos of getting mega bucks perks from a billionaire. If that's not moral corruption I don't know what is.
Commenter: "He is supposed to be able to adjudicate some of the most complex legal questions but he's completely stumped by the requirements of an ethics disclosure form."
Commenter: "Harlan Crow was not merely providing financial support to the Thomas family, but rather engaging in the unethical act of purchasing a United States Supreme Court Justice."
Bible: "You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Deut. 16:19”
Professor Anita Hill, a respectable lawyer, educator, and author accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment while he was her boss.
[Since authoring this article, more questionable things have surfaced about Justice Thomas]
CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS
Roberts' wife Jane Roberts cashed in over $10 million recruiting for law firms that had business in front of the court, e.g. one case, where a law firm that represented a case in the Supreme Court paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is corrupt big-time, in my view. She made about $2 million a year in the last 5 years. For the law firms, it provides a gateway to her husband. Perhaps Roberts is clean and not influenced but something about this is very fishy.
JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH
Gorsuch sold a remote cabin in Colorado woods that probably nobody wanted -- except the CEO of one of the biggest law firms in the country that regularly conducts business in front of the Supreme Court, who decided to buy that property, out of all the other properties that nobody wants. CEO Brian Duffy of law firm Greenberg Traurig bought the property.
Gorsuch did not state the name of the buyer in his disclosure form (left the box blank), which means he wanted to hide this conflict of interest.
Greenberg has had 22 cases at the Supreme Court since the transaction, many of which involved Gorsuch, who never recused himself!
JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO
He regularly attended dinners with Hobby Lobby's founder, Billionaire David Green, a Christian right-wing group that includes big business with a troubling influence on the Supreme Court. Alito penned major Supreme Court decisions of great significance in favor of the Hobby Lobby cause.
ALITO, THOMAS, KAVANAUGH
These three so-called conservative judges regularly get perks and gifts by being visiting faculty at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, and they get to choose the exotic destinations they like to go to teach courses in, and all expenses are paid for them and their families. Many Amicus Briefs were submitted by the other faculty at George Mason who worked side by side with the Justices!!
At a minimum, these are entanglements and the appearance of impropriety and ethical issues.