Congressman Presses House Judiciary Leaders on Supreme Court Ethics, Noting Recent Gifts to Justice Clarence Thomas

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

June 23, 2011– Rep. Chris Murphy has urged leaders of the House Judiciary Committee to conduct a hearing consider a measure that “would end the Supreme Court’s immunity to judicial ethics laws,” Think Progress’s Ian Millhiser reports.

Murphy’s letter follows a recent report in The New York Times about Justice Clarence Thomas’s connections to Harlan Crow, “a major contributor to conservative causes,” including allegedly providing $500,000 to Thomas’s wife, Virginia, to launch a Tea Party group that worked to scuttle the landmark health care reform law. Thomas, The Times reported, has received other gifts from Crow, who has also donated $175,000 to a museum being constructed in the justice’s birthplace of Pin Point, Ga., which undoubtedly celebrate Thomas.

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Think Progress: Rep. Chris Murphy: Thomas Gift Scandal ‘Undermine[s] The Integrity of The Entire Judiciary’

-By Ian Millhiser

June 23, 2011- ThinkProgress has obtained a draft letter Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) circulated this morning to his fellow members of Congress asking the House Judiciary Committee’s leadership to hold a hearing on the Supreme Court Transparency and Disclosure Act, a bill that will end the Supreme Court’s immunity to judicial ethics laws. As Murphy’s letter explains, his bill addresses the bevy of recently revealed ethics scandals involving members of the Supreme Court, including the Clarence Thomas gifting scandal: 

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POE Launches New Petition on Change.Org

Clarence Thomas admitted recently that he falsified 20 years of Financial Disclosure documents going back to 1990, including during his confirmation process, by failing to disclose more than a million dollars in salary earned by his wife during that time.  

Ginni Thomas also launched an organization called Liberty Central and raised more than $550,000 in order to advantage of the Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark Citizens United case. Ginni Thomas then received salary and benefits from that organization. The Thomases then invested in another company called Liberty Consulting to lobby on behalf of the “Tea party,” with Mrs. Thomas also receiving “salary and benefits” from that company.  

Falsifying disclosure forms violates the criminal provisions of 5 USC app Sec. 104 and 18 USC 1001, and “judicial insider trading” violates other federal statutes. 

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POE PRESS RELEASE:

Protect Our Elections Calls on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to Step Down in Light of His Admission That He Falsified Twenty Years of Financial Disclosure Forms

Watchdog Group also Calls for Criminal Prosecution, Audit of SCOTUS Decisions, And Ethics Inquiry

January 25, 2011- Yesterday, the watchdog group ProtectOurElections.org asked the U.S. Justice Department to bring criminal charges against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for making false statements on his AO 10 Financial Disclosure forms every year since 2003 by falsely swearing under criminal penalty that his wife Virginia had no non-investment income.… Read More

Protect Our Elections Asks DOJ To Prosecute Justice Thomas For False Statements

January 24, 2011- Today, we asked the Justice Department to bring criminal charges against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for making false statements on his Financial Disclosure forms every year since 2003 by falsely swearing under criminal penalty that his wife Virginia had no income. Justice Thomas signed these forms under oath after certifying that the information in them was true and accurate. 

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