-By Ian M. MacIsaac
June 26, 2011- For the majority of this country’s history, the Supreme Court has stood as our national model of impartiality and justice. Our High Court was the last forum of decision-making in Washington removed from the petty political concerns of things like lobbying and reelection campaigns and all the money-grubbing.
But it seems that truly nothing is sacred anymore in today’s post-American era of conservative radicalism, not even the Supreme Court.
And although of course no one person deserves all the blame for any screw-up so huge, the Court’s huge loss of integrity over the past decade or so seems to be crystallized—if not defined—by the behavior of Justice Clarence Thomas.
Old Clarence has found himself at the center of a scandal, broken by the New York Times last Sunday, concerning his goings-on with a Dallas, Tex. real estate mogul named Harlan Crow.
The Times reported that Thomas has solicited improper gifts and donations from Crow, both for himself and his wife Virginia directly, as well as additional donations for organizations the justice supports politically.
The Times story centers around a museum being built in Thomas’s birthplace of Pin Point, Ga., to celebrate the story and culture of the historic fishing region.
Mr. Thomas, a supporter of the planned museum’s foundation and a likely subject of at least some of its exhibitions (given that the town as it is currently bases its persona around being the birthplace of Clarence Thomas), has reportedly crossed the line in getting Crow involved with the project so directly.
Indeed, according to the Times, Thomas specifically informed Crow of the museum foundation with the intent of soliciting money from the mogul on behalf of the foundation’s head Algernon Varn, whom Thomas later reportedly introduced to Crow.
“Justices,” said Stanford law professor Deborah L. Rhode in the Times article, “should not be directly involved in fund-raising activities, no matter how worthy they are or whether he [Thomas] is being centrally honored by the museum.”
In addition, the Justice has been accused of appropriating Mr. Crow’s yacht and private jet for his own personal travel use multiple times without once officially reporting it as a gift.