St.Petersburg Times: Clarence Thomas crosses ethical line

June 25, 2011- Unlike other members of the federal judiciary, U.S. Supreme Court justices are not bound by a comprehensive set of ethics rules. They are expected to police themselves. But that doesn't always happen. A New York Times investigation into the financial relationship between Justice Clarence Thomas and real estate magnate Harlan Crow suggests that Thomas crossed ethical lines by receiving gifts and arranging donations by Crow to a favorite charity. Nothing is more important to public confidence in the judiciary than justices who are free from real or perceived conflicts of interest. There should be clear ethics rules even for the Supreme Court.

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The Root: Clarence Thomas Faces Ethics Questions

-By: Nsenga Burton

June 22, 2011- The New York Times is reporting that several projects involving conservative friends of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are under scrutiny. Apparently Thomas introduced Harlan Crow — a wealthy, conservative Dallas real estate mogul — to Algernon Varn, a man who lives in the coastal village near Savannah, Ga., where Thomas was raised, in order to finance a preservation project of the land. Thomas' friend Mr. Crow financed the multimillion-dollar purchase and restoration of the cannery on the coastal land, featuring a museum about the culture and history of Pin Point. Varn's project has become a pet project of Thomas'.

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Think Progress: Second Harlan Crow Connected Group Has A Perfect Litigation Record Before Justice Thomas

-By Ian Millhiser

June 23 2011- Real estate magnate Harlan Crow has been very good to Justice Clarence Thomas, lavishing gifts and other favors on Thomas and his family. Crow provided $500,000 to allow Thomas’ wife to start a Tea Party group, and he once gave Thomas a $19,000 Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass. He also served on the board of a corporate-aligned think tank called the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which once gave Thomas a $15,000 gift.

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Alternet: 8 Reasons Justice Clarence Thomas Must Step Down

Plagued by ethical breaches and links to groups calling for armed insurrection against the U.S. government, Clarence Thomas must resign his seat Court. on the Supreme

-By Adele M. Stan

June 23, 2011– Time was when, at any right-wing gathering, chances were that you'd hear the justices of the Supreme Court derided as black-robed usurpers of democracy. Today, not so much. Ever since the seating of the Roberts court, the right has been pretty happy with high court's decisions, especially the outcome of Citizens United v. FEC, the case through which the court, in a decision handed down last year, opened the floodgates of corporate money into the electoral system.

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AlterNet: ThinkProgress Video: Rep. Says Clarence Thomas’ Actions Call Into Question Whether He ‘Can Continue To Serve’

-By Ian Millhiser

June 24, 2011- In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress, Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) — the lead sponsor of a bill which would strip Supreme Court justices of their immunity from a code of ethical conduct that applies to other federal judges — suggests that an investigation may be necessary to determine whether Justice Clarence Thomas’many ethics scandals rise to the level where Thomas is no longer fit to serve on the nation’s highest Court:   

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Huffington Post: Justice Thomas Doesn’t Ask Questions, But He Certainly Should Have Some Answers

-By Michael B Keegan

June 23, 2011- Justice Clarence Thomas is famous for his silence. While his fellow Supreme Court justices regularly challenge and work out complex points with the lawyers who appear before them, Justice Thomas has not asked a question from the bench for five years and counting. Unfortunately, he has been quiet on another matter as well: the mounting concerns that he has flouted ethics and financial disclosure rules in accepting gifts and favors from wealthy friends who have a stake in the cases he decides.

Justice Thomas can choose not to ask questions. But it's clearly time that he answered some.

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Press Release: POE And Change.org Call On DOJ And FBI To Investigate

New Disclosures Raise More Troubling Questions

Washington, DC— In light of new financial disclosures from Justice Clarence Thomas and reports from the New York Times, ProtectOurElections.org and Change.org call for a criminal investigation of Justice Thomas, his wife Virginia and a wealthy benefactor, Harlan Crow who has showered the Thomases with expensive gifts, use of a private jet and yacht, and funding for the Thomas’ pet projects including at least a half million dollars for Liberty Central, an employer of Mrs. Thomas. On June 8, 2011, ProtectOurElections.org sent a letter to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Public Integrity Section and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) urging that they investigate information recently revealed in Thomas’ 2010 Financial Disclosure Form.

After that letter was sent, ProtectOurElections.org received an IRS form submitted by Mrs. Thomas, which states that in 2010, she was to receive $150,000 in salary from Liberty Central.

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Think Progress: The Clarence Thomas Scandal

-By Ian Millhiser

June 22, 2011- In 1969, Justice Abe Fortas resigned in disgrace after the nation learned that he had accepted tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from corporate executives and other wealthy benefactors. Forty years later, Justice Clarence Thomas is caught in a strikingly similar scandal. Similarly to Fortas, Thomas has a wealthy benefactor named Harlan Crow who has shown lavish generosity to Thomas and his Tea Partying wife Ginni. And where Fortas had an ad hoc group of corporate executives to subsidize his lifestyle, Thomas seems to have the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) — a corporate-aligned think tank that once gave him a $15,000 gift. We find it difficult to find daylight between Thomas’ actions and the gifting scandal that forced Abe Fortas off the bench.

LAVISH GIFTS: Like Fortas before him, Thomas received tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from wealthy benefactors — some of whom have an interest in cases before his court. Crow gave Thomas a $19,000 Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass. He provided Thomas’ wife with half a million dollars to start a Tea Party group, and he donated over $1 million dollars to fund a museum that will include exhibits honoring Justice Thomas. Crow has a long history of investing in conservative political causes — he’s donated nearly $5 million to Republican candidates and conservative organizations, including $100,000 to the anti-John Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — but he isn’t even the most troubling entity to rain gifts upon Clarence Thomas. That honor goes to AEI, which gifted Thomas with a $15,000 bust of Abraham Lincoln even though AEI frequently files briefs in Thomas’ Court. Thomas has not recused himself from cases in which AEI participated.

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