NYT: Common Cause Asks Court About Thomas Speech

February 14, 2011- Discrepancies in reports about an appearance by Justice Clarence Thomas at a political retreat for wealthy conservatives three years ago have prompted new questions to the Supreme Court from a group that advocates changing campaign finance laws.

When questions were first raised about the retreat last month, a court spokeswoman said Justice Thomas had made a “brief drop-by” at the event in Palm Springs, Calif., in January 2008 and had given a talk.

In his financial disclosure report for that year, however, Justice Thomas reported that the Federalist Society, a prominent conservative legal group, had reimbursed him an undisclosed amount for four days of “transportation, meals and accommodations” over the weekend of the retreat. The event is organized by Charles and David Koch, brothers who have used millions of dollars from the energy conglomerate they run in Wichita, Kan., to finance conservative causes.

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NYT: No Argument: Thomas Keeps 5-Year Silence

Clarence ThomasFebruary 12, 2011- A week from Tuesday, when the Supreme Court returns from its midwinter break and hears arguments in two criminal cases, it will have been five years since Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken during a court argument.

If he is true to form, Justice Thomas will spend the arguments as he always does: leaning back in his chair, staring at the ceiling, rubbing his eyes, whispering to Justice Stephen G. Breyer, consulting papers and looking a little irritated and a little bored. He will ask no questions.

In the past 40 years, no other justice has gone an entire term, much less five, without speaking at least once during arguments, according to Timothy R. Johnson, a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota. Justice Thomas’s epic silence on the bench is just one part of his enigmatic and contradictory persona. He is guarded in public but gregarious in private. He avoids elite universities but speaks frequently to students at regional and religious schools. In those settings, he rarely dwells on legal topics but is happy to discuss a favorite movie, like “Saving Private Ryan.”

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Think Progress: Reagan DOJ Official Slams Scalia’s Tea Party Gathering

February 11, 2011- Bruce Fein, Ronald Reagan’s former Associate Deputy Attorney General, published a letter in today’s New York Times castigating Justice Antonin Scalia for speaking to a backroom meeting organized by the House Tea Party Caucus:

Justice Antonin Scalia galloped beyond the farthest boundaries of judicial propriety in secretly meeting on Capitol Hill to discuss the Constitution with Tea Party members of Congress saddled with a co-equal duty to assess the constitutionality of legislative action. If there are better ways to destroy public confidence in judicial impartiality, they do not readily come to mind. … Associate Justice Abe Fortas was forced to resign for, among other things, secretly advising President Lyndon B. Johnson on race, urban unrest and the Vietnam War.

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Crooks and Liars: Clarence Thomas “Forgot” 20 Years of Disclosure? Really?

February 10, 2011- It looks like Justice Clarence Thomas has a bit of a memory problem, and when combined with Ginni Thomas' lobbying efforts, a picture emerges of a deep ethical problem corrupting the highest court in the country.

The video above outlines Virginia "Ginni" Thomas' relationship to Liberty Central and Liberty Consulting. They suggest that Liberty Consulting is a front for Liberty Central, but I'm not sure about that, since the two organizations still keep separate websites, and one is for-profit while the other isn't.

What is clear, however, is that there is direct intent to cloak both operations behind a veil of secrecy while one of our Supreme Court justices takes up questions that deal directly with the very same issue. That's problem #1.

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StealthPACs.Org: Profile of Citizens United

Stated Purpose:
Reassert the traditional American values of limited government, free enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty and security.

Tax Status:

Political Orientation:

September 2004 — Citizens United's Web site reads like a commercial promoting President Bush's re-election, a message that is reinforced by the group's paid media communications.

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The Tangled Web of Virginia Thomas

February 9, 2011- When Virginia Thomas stepped down as head of Liberty Central in November of last year she didn't just disappear. Go getter that she is- Upon leaving (or being forced out, depending on who you believe) the astroturf organization she helped to build, she moved on to bigger and better things- creating her own lobbying firm, Liberty Consulting Inc. Oddly enough, Mrs. Thomas' IRS filings for Liberty Central show the office address as the same one that Liberty Consulting now occupies.

Protect Our Elections decided to visit that office, which turned out to be a PO box in a UPS Store in Burke Virginia.

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Brad Blog: ‘Move to Amend’ but is ‘Corporate Personhood’ Valid Even Under Existing Constitution?

Sotomayor not first Supreme Court Justice to question 125 year-old decision…

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

February 8, 2011- As Vermont becomes the first state to consider a Constitutional amendment that would put an end to "corporate personhood", it is perhaps worthwhile to examine the historical context in which the concept arose and the forceful challenges to its validity that have been mustered by a minority of Supreme Court Justices.

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