Clarence Thomas is falling into a deep, deep ethical hole, deeper even than the one he dropped into when he failed to disclose his wife's income for 20 years. As more facts come to light, it's obvious he failed to disclose quite a bit, including the $100,000 Citizens United spent on his behalf in 1991 to support his nomination. That would be an in-kind contribution which should have been disclosed as such.
A Time Magazine article from 1991 has the details:
Washington-area television viewers were startled last week to see three familiar senatorial faces pop up on their screens above the words WHO WILL JUDGE THE JUDGE? The follow-up question -- "How many of these liberal Democrats could themselves pass ethical scrutiny?" -- was hardly necessary, since the faces were those of Edward Kennedy, Joseph Biden and Alan Cranston, all scarred veterans of highly publicized scandals, from Chappaquiddick to plagiarized speeches to the Keating Five.
The ad, produced by two independent right-wing groups, was intended to bolster Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas' confirmation chances by pointing the finger at three liberal Democrats who seemed likely to oppose him. Not coincidentally, the ad was produced by the same people who launched the 1988 Willie Horton spot that branded Michael Dukakis soft on crime but left George Bush open to charges of racism. Anxious not to be associated with such negative campaigning this time around, Bush quickly labeled the attacks on the Senators "counterproductive." Thomas pronounced them "vicious." His chief Senate supporter, Missouri Republican John Danforth, called them "sleazy" and "scurrilous."
Although Bush and chief of staff John Sununu demanded that the ads be pulled, their right-wing sponsors -- L. Brent Bozell III, chairman of the Conservative Victory Committee, and Floyd Brown, chairman of Citizens United -- refused. Calling the campaign a "pre-emptive strike" to counter anticipated anti-Thomas commercials, as well as retaliation for the 1987 spots that helped defeat Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, they vowed to keep running the messages for at least two weeks "until the left agrees to discontinue all its efforts against Judge Thomas." Thus far, that has been a mostly fitful effort at best, but Brown and Bozell appeared to see the flag of revolution rising above it. "Unfortunately," the two men declared in a written statement, "the Administration has no desire to confront the radical left."
So Citizens United pays to produce and air an ad with the stated intention of bullying "the left" into silence over his nomination, and Clarence Thomas fails to disclose that before hearing last year's Citizens United case that corrupted our election process?
Ironically, the case ProtectOurElections is relying on is Caperton v Massey, ruled on by the Supreme Court in 2009. Predictably, Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito dissented.
Applying Caperton to Citizens United, it is clear that Justice Thomas, after having been supported by an effective advertising campaign that reaped millions in free media time, labored under an actual conflict of interest that denied the FEC due process. Justice Thomas owed his spot on the Court to Citizens United Foundation. That fact undermined his ability to put aside his bias in favor of Citizens United.
Justice Thomas was required to disclose his relationship with Citizens United and sua
sponte recuse himself from the case. Instead, he hid that relationship and cast the
deciding vote in favor of Citizens United. This corrupted the administration of justice
and violated D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 8.4—Misconduct, which states in
“It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) Violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or
induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(c) Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
(d) Engage in conduct that seriously interferes with the administration of justice; ….”
Seems like Justice Thomas has a really distorted idea of what justice is. Can we impeach him yet?