Voici le plus marquant d’un dossier que je viens de trouver sur internet. Le propos va incontestablement vous ravir. Car le propos est « la justice ».
Son titre (Here Are All The Ethics Scandals Involving The Supreme Court Justice Amid Latest ProPublica Revelations) en dit long.
Le rédacteur (annoncé sous le nom d’anonymat
) est connu et fiable pour plusieurs autres éditoriaux qu’il a publiés sur internet.
Les révélations divulguées sont donc perçues valables.
Voilà lle texte dont il s’agit :
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has come under renewed scrutiny after ProPublica reported Thursday the justice has received far more luxury vacations, private jets and other gifts from wealthy friends than previously known—the latest in a series of recent controversies involving Thomas that have fueled calls for him to recuse himself from cases or be removed from office and for the court to impose a binding code of ethics.
Sokol, Huizenga and Novelly Gifts: ProPublica reported that during his tenure on the Supreme Court, Thomas has accepted gifts including at least 38 “destination vacations,” 26 private jet flights, VIP sports passes, helicopter flights, private resorts stay and a “standing invitation” for a private golf club—which ProPublica noted was “almost certainly an undercount”—particularly from former Berkshire Hathaway executive David Sokol, late billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga and Apex Oil CEO Paul “Tony” Novelly, none of which were disclosed on Thomas’ federal disclosure forms.
Horatio Alger Association: ProPublica’s reporting built off a previous New York Times report that Thomas—a longtime member of the Horatio Alger Association, which was created to “dispel the mounting belief … that the American dream was no longer attainable”—has for years accepted gifts from a “[broad]
cohort of wealthy and powerful friends” who belong to the group, including people with business before the Supreme Court, receiving such benefits as luxury trips and a Super Bowl ring.
Harlan Crow Trips: ProPublica first reported Thomas has for years accepted trips from GOP megadonor and developer Harlan Crow, including on his private jet and superyacht, without disclosing them on financial disclosures as federal law requires.
Harlan Crow Tuition: ProPublica reported Thursday Crow also paid two years of tuition for Thomas’ grandnephew Mark Martin, whom the justice has custody of, to attend two private schools in the 2000s, which cost $6,000 per month at one of the schools and were similarly not disclosed—even as Thomas did disclose a tuition payment a different friend made years earlier.
Harlan Crow Real Estate: Thomas and his family also sold a string of properties in Savannah, Georgia, to Crow in 2014 without disclosing that as required, ProPublica reports—including the home where his mother still lives—which Crow told the publication he purchased so he could eventually build a museum dedicated to the justice.
Ginni Thomas Conservative Activism: Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, is a right-wing activist, which has raised considerable ethics concerns about overlap between her and her husband’s work—particularly as the New Yorker reported groups she’s been involved with have submitted briefs before the Supreme Court, including a group that has weighed in on the court’s pending case about affirmative action in university admissions.
Ginni Thomas Leonard Leo: Leo, a conservative judicial activist who’s spent billions on efforts to reshape the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, told then-conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway to give Ginni Thomas “another $25k” through a nonprofit group he advises—which then filed a brief with the Supreme Court—but conceal that the payment was for her, the Post reports, telling Conway, “No mention of Ginni, of course.”
Ginni Thomas 2020 Election: Thomas pushed efforts to overturn the 2020 election results as her husband was hearing cases on it, including sending text messages to then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, which fueled calls for Thomas to resign or face impeachment over the perceived conflict of interest.
January 6: Ginni Thomas has also confirmed she briefly attended the rally on January 6 that preceded the attack on the Capitol building and publicly criticized the House January 6 Committee, and the justice has come under fire for failing to recuse himself in a case concerning former President Donald Trump’s records being turned over to the committee—in which he was the only justice to dissent and believe the records should have been withheld.
Ginni Thomas Funding: The Post reported in March that a conservative group Ginni Thomas formed in 2019 had raised nearly $600,000 from anonymous donors funneled through a right-wing think tank that filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court during the same time, and ethics experts said Clarence Thomas should have recused himself from that case if his wife was paid by the group.
Financial Disclosures: Thomas has made a series of other “errors and omissions” on financial disclosure reports, which the Washington Postreported includes reporting real estate income for decades from a company that shut down in 2006 and has in the past had to amend his financial disclosures multiple times, including after failing to report his wife’s income in the 2000s.
What To Watch For
Democrats in Congress have pushed for Chief Justice John Roberts and the Justice Department to investigate the relationship between Thomas and Crow and the justice’s failure to disclose it, and sought to have Roberts testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he declined to do. Thomas’ failure to report his dealings with Crow and other wealthy friends could violate the Ethics in Government Act, Democrats and ethics experts have suggested, which carries a punishment of a year in prison or a fine if violated, though it still remains to be seen if Thomas could face any consequences. Democrats in Congress have also pushed for ethics legislation that would force the Supreme Court to adopt a binding code of ethics as a result of the controversies—as justices aren’t required to follow an ethics code as lower federal judges are—with the Senate Judiciary Committee voting in favor of such a bill in July. The chance of any legislation making it through Congress remains a long shot, however, as Republicans have opposed the efforts, painting Democrats’ ethics efforts as a partisan left-wing attack on conservative justices. The Supreme Court has also so far declined to impose a code of ethics itself despite reportedly considering the matter for years, and Justice Elena Kagan said last week justices “have been discussing this issue,” but noted “it won’t be a surprise to know that the nine of us have a variety of views about this.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has also called for Thomas’ impeachment over his associations with Crow, but that’s unlikely to happen. Justices are impeached and removed from office in the same way as presidents, with a majority vote in the House and two thirds majority in the Senate—which means any effort is almost certain to fail, given Republicans’ control of the House and narrow minority in the Senate.
58%. That’s the share of respondents (including 40% of Republicans) in an April Economist/YouGov poll who said they strongly or somewhat disapprove of Thomas accepting “luxury trips without disclosing them.” Only 43% said they believe Thomas violated the law by doing so, though that’s higher than the 28% who said he didn’t. The justice had a 41% favorability rating among respondents, higher than the 37% who view him negatively, fueled by a 67% favorability rating among Republicans.
Thomas declined to comment to the Times on its report on his Horatio Alger membership and didn’t comment on the most recent ProPublica report, but the justice and his allies have defended his relationship with Crow. Thomas issued a statement following the initial ProPublica report about accepting trips from Crow, which said he was “advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable” on financial disclosures. Mark Paoletta, Thomas’ friend and Ginni Thomas’ attorney—who has vacationed with them at Crow’s resort—defended Thomas against the tuition report in a statement Thursday, saying the payments did not have to be disclosed because they were made to the school directly and ProPublica’s report “shows nothing except for the fact that the Thomases and the Crows are kind, generous, and loving people who tried to help this young man.” Sokol defended his relationship with Thomas outlined in Thursday’s ProPublica report, telling the publication its reporting is “a clear attempt to impune [Thomas’] integrity.” Ginni Thomas has also hit back against accusations that her activism has an impact on her husband’s work, including her efforts after the 2020 election. “I did not speak with [Clarence Thomas] at all about the details of my post-election activities, which were minimal,” Ginni Thomas testified to the House January 6 Committee.
Thomas’ ethics controversies have been part of a broader string of ethics concerns at the 6-3 conservative Supreme Court. Justice Samuel Alito has come under fire following reporting that an anti-abortion advocate knew the court’s 2014 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby before it was publicly announced and was tipped off by an associate who had dinner with Alito and his wife, and a recent ProPublica report revealed he also was treated to luxury travel with billionaire Paul Singer. (Alito denied any wrongdoing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.) Conservative justices have also drawn scrutiny for socializing and appearing at events alongside right-wing politicians and figures, among other concerns, and the Associated Press detailed how justices’ appearances at public universities have often been used to gin up donations, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s staffers have reportedly “prodded” public institutions where she’s speaking to buy copies of her books. The Times notes that other justices, including the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg, have also historically accepted travel from wealthy people with business before the court, though Thomas’ volume of gifts from wealthy friends is believed to be “unprecedented” in the federal judiciary, former federal judge Jeremy Fogel told ProPublica.
What Is The Horatio Alger Association? Group Includes Clarence Thomas And Several Billionaire Friends, Report Says. (Forbes)
GOP Megadonor Harlan Crow Paid Tuition For Clarence Thomas’ Relative, Report Says (Forbes)
Clarence Thomas Will Update Financial Disclosures To Include GOP Megadonor Real Estate Deals Amid Controversy, Report Says (Forbes)
Clarence Thomas Has Reportedly Been Accepting Gifts From Republican Megadonor Harlan Crow For Decades—And Never Disclosed It (Forbes)
Clarence Thomas Sold House To GOP Donor Harlan Crow, Report Says (Forbes)
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Faces Calls For Hearings, Recusal, Resignation For Wife’s Texts About 2020 Election (Forbes)
Ginni Thomas-Led Conservative Group Reportedly Raised $600,000—But We Don’t Know Who From (Forbes)
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