Scalia, Thomas had clear conflict of interests during citizens united case

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Bob26003, Jan 29, 2011.

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  1. Bob26003

    Bob26003 Well-Known Member

    The conservative hack justices overturned 100 years of precedence by ruling that corporations can now spend unlimited on campaigns and advertising................ Now it turns out, this ruling to no suprise, benefits them and their friends immensely. In such a case, the judge is required by law to recuse him or herself. They chose not to.


    Do Scalia and Thomas have a conflict of interest with their ties to the Koch Brothers Billionaire Caucus Retreat?

    Common Cause makes a great argument that there's a conflict of interest between Scalia and Thomas over the Citizens United ruling because of their past participation in Koch Brothers' Bircheresque political retreats:

    When the conservative financier Charles Koch sent out invitations for a political retreat in Palm Springs later this month, he highlighted past appearances at the gathering of “notable leaders” like Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court.

    A leading liberal group is now trying to use that connection to argue that Mr. Scalia and Mr. Thomas should disqualify themselves from hearing campaign finance cases because they may be biased toward Mr. Koch, a billionaire who has been a major player in financing conservative causes.

    The group, Common Cause, filed a petition with the Justice Department on Wednesday asking it to investigate potential conflicts by Justices Scalia and Thomas and move for their disqualification from the landmark Citizens United case, in which the court last year lifted a ban on corporate spending on political campaigns. Common Cause also cited the role of Mr. Thomas’s wife, Virginia Thomas, in forming a conservative political group opposed to the Obama administration as grounds for his disqualification.

    The petition is a new tack for opponents of the court’s decision in the Citizens United case. Common Cause, by its own acknowledgment, faces a difficult task in getting the justices’ to remove themselves from the case and seeking to have the Citizens United decision itself vacated.

    “We’re treading in new territory here for us,” said Arn H. Pearson, Common Cause’s vice president for programs. “But a situation like this raises fundamental questions about public confidence in the Supreme Court.” Officials at Koch Industries, which Mr. Koch leads, did not respond to e-mails and a phone call Wednesday seeking comment on the petition. A spokeswoman at the Supreme Court declined on

    I'll be going to the Common Cause panel discussion and rally against the Koch Brothers Billionaire Caucus next weekend in Palm Springs to represent. Aren't you getting sick and tired of our Democracy being bought and sold to uber-rich megalomaniacs who only care about their free market profits with no concern for the American worker?

    The topic of the participation of Scalia and Thomas has come up before. Susie raised these very questions awhile back. Sam Stein wrote about the judges link to this gathering back in 2010.

    In October of 2010, The NY Times wrote this: Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead

    Koch Industries, the longtime underwriter of libertarian causes from the Cato Institute in Washington to the ballot initiative that would suspend California’s landmark law capping greenhouse gases, is planning a confidential meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa to, as an invitation says, “develop strategies to counter the most severe threats facing our free society and outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise and prosperity.”

    The invitation, sent to potential new participants, offers a rare peek at the Koch network of the ultra-wealthy and the politically well-connected, its far-reaching agenda to enlist ordinary Americans to its cause, and its desire for the utmost secrecy.

    It's basically a strategy session on how to re-brand their John Birch propaganda to many more millions of Americans that haven't already bought into their fraudulent claims.

    The Kochs also seek to cultivate Americans’ growing concern about the growth of government: at the most recent meeting, in Aspen, Colo., in June, some of the wealthiest people in America listened to a presentation on “a vision of how we can retain the moral high ground and make the new case for liberty and smaller government that appeals to all Americans, rich and poor.”

    The goals for the twice-yearly meetings, the brochure says, include attracting more investors to the cause, but also building institutions “to identify, educate and mobilize citizens” and “fashioning the message and building the education channels to re-establish widespread belief in the benefits of a free and prosperous society.”

    And guess who was a key speaker in their Aspen circle jerk hoedown last year?

    The participants in Aspen dined under the stars at the top of the gondola run on Aspen Mountain, and listened to Glenn Beck of Fox News in a session titled, “Is America on the Road to Serfdom?” (The title refers to a classic of Austrian economic thought that informs libertarian ideology, popularized by Mr. Beck on his show.)The participants included some of the nation’s wealthiest families and biggest names in finance: private equity and hedge fund executives like John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman and Ken Griffin; Phil Anschutz, the entertainment and media mogul ranked by Forbes as the 34th-richest person in the country; Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway; Steve Bechtel of the giant construction firm; and Kenneth Langone of Home Depot.

    Follow link and links within link to find more info and links ........... there is alot

    These crooked conservative hacks are busted. But sadly, nothing will probably happen to them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2011
  2. Bob26003

    Bob26003 Well-Known Member

    Thomas Cites Failure to Disclose Wife’s Job
    Published: January 24, 2011

    WASHINGTON — 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.

    Justice Thomas said that in his annual financial disclosure statements over the last six years, the employment of his wife, Virginia Thomas, was “inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions.”

    To rectify that situation, Justice Thomas filed seven pages of amended disclosures listing Mrs. Thomas’s employment in that time with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy group, and Hillsdale College in Michigan, for which she ran a constitutional law center in Washington.

    The justice came under criticism last week from Common Cause, a liberal advocacy group, for failing to disclose Mrs. Thomas’s employment as required under the 1978 Ethics in Government Act. While justices are not required to say how much a spouse earns, Common Cause said its review of Internal Revenue Service filings showed that the Heritage Foundation paid Mrs. Thomas $686,589 from 2003 to 2007.

    The group also asserted that Justice Thomas should have withdrawn from deciding last year’s landmark Citizens United case on campaign finance because of both Mrs. Thomas’s founding of another conservative political group in 2009 and Justice Thomas’s own appearance at a private political retreat organized by Charles Koch, a prominent conservative financier.

    Justices Thomas and Antonin Scalia said in a statement released by the court on Thursday that they had each spoken at dinners at the Koch retreat and that their expenses were paid by the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.

    The additional filings released by the court on Monday regarding Mrs. Thomas’s employment put Justice Thomas in the odd position of issuing two formal statements in five days about his personal dealings.

    Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, said he found Justice Thomas’s explanation about the omission to be “implausible.”

    As a Supreme Court justice who regularly hears complex legal cases, “it is hard to see how he could have misunderstood the simple directions of a federal disclosure form.”

    Deborah L. Rhode, a law professor at Stanford University who specializes in judicial ethics, said the recent episodes could do some harm to Justice Thomas’s reputation. But she added that it was unlikely to have any lasting impact on him or on the disclosure requirements that give justices wide leeway to decide whether they have a financial conflict in hearing a case.

    Professor Rhode noted, for instance, that it was still unknown who contributed a total of $550,000 to Liberty Central, the conservative legal group that Mrs. Thomas founded in 2009 in opposition to President Obama’s policies. The amended disclosures filed by Justice Thomas, which do not include income in 2010, do not mention Liberty Central, and no regulation requires the group or the Thomases to disclose the source of the group’s financial support. Mrs. Thomas left the group in the fall.

    “There’s no formal mechanism for review of conflicts among Supreme Court justices,” Professor Rhode said. “Personally, I think issues like this are somewhat scandalous for the court, but from what we’ve seen when these issues have come up before, I don’t see that changing.”
  3. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. This isn't the first time either justice has had their conflict of interests questioned.
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