A new explosive report finds that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas attended at least two high-profile summits held by the secretive Koch donor network.
According to reports, Thomas attended two events held by the network, formally known as Stand Together and overseen by Charles and David Koch. He didn’t disclose being at these events to a judicial ethics committee. Among the events the judge attended was a private dinner in Palm Springs, California, in 2018, which saw him arrive thanks to a private Gulfstream G200 jet. Thomas’ presence put him in the “extraordinary position” of acting as a “fundraising draw,” breaking numerous federal rules that prohibit judges from engaging in political activity such as fundraising.
The new reports comes after it was discovered that Thomas was the recipient of luxury vacations from real estate billionaire Harlan Crow and other rich corporate benefactors. In addition, Crow (who was also found to be a collector of Nazi memorabilia) was also found to have paid tuition for a child Thomas was raising as his son in addition to buying Thomas’ mother’s house. He also attended 25 years worth of the all-male retreats known as the Bohemian Grove, which includes all of the most important political and corporate figures in the world.
The news of Clarence Thomas attending the top-tier donor events is staggering considering how much the Koch brothers (David Koch died in 2019) and other conservative donors have impacted the decisions of cases that have come before the Supreme Court within the last 15 years – some at their behest. The habitual disregard for the ethics laws in place includes Thomas not having disclosed any of these vacations and other gifts as required.
“What we’re seeing emerge is someone who is living his professional life in a way that’s seeing these extrajudicial opportunities as a perk of the office,” said Charles Geyh, a judicial law expert at the University of Indiana’s law school, according to ProPublica. The news leaves the justice’s impartiality further in doubt. “Parties litigating in the court before Justice Thomas don’t know the extent of Thomas’ relationship with the parties on the other side,” said Hofstra University law professor James Sample. “You have to be pretty cynical to not think that’s a problem.”
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Uncle Clarence Thomas Present At 2 Koch Donor Summits was originally published on hiphopwired.com