The Widdershins

Archive for October 3rd, 2011

Where do I begin?  The same Supreme Court that gave us the deadly Citizens United decision that refused to review the case of Troy Davis, and declined to permit a class action suit against Wal-Mart is at it again.  There have been any number of strange courts in my day, most especially the Berger court.  If you haven’t read Bob Woodward’s The Brethren, it’s well worth your time.  The Supreme Court, simply put, is as strong as its Chief Justice – and also as strong as the ethics of the other members.  It’s not complicated – the justices are given lifetime appointments to the highest bench in the land.  In return, the nation expects them to be self-regulating and above reproach.

John Roberts had some bumps in his confirmation process, to be sure, but I’m not certain that anyone ever suspected the absolute void of leadership that he has demonstrated.  Sadly, there is little in the way of judicial oversight for the Supremes, so much of the court’s ethical direction comes from the Chief Justice.  Roberts has had some dingers thus far, such as Justice Alito’s hunting excursion with Vice-President Cheyney on the eve of a decision that involved the veep.  One would have to believe that, if Justice Alito failed to see the obvious conflict, Chief Justice Roberts should have prompted him to recuse himself from the case.  Oh, but no – Justice Alito’s personal assurance that he could rise above the obvious was good enough for John Roberts.

The Chief’s headaches are multiplying.  Both Justice Alito and Justice Thomas have accepted speaking engagements for right-wing  conservative conferences that border on campaigning.  If that isn’t enough, Justice Thomas appears to have made a little bit of a math error repetitively over the past twenty years.  From The Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — Democratic lawmakers on Thursday called for a federal investigation into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ failure to report hundreds of thousands of dollars on annual financial disclosure forms.

Led by House Rules Committee ranking member Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), 20 House Democrats sent a letter to the Judicial Conference of the United States — the entity that frames guidelines for the administration of federal courts — requesting that the conference refer the matter of Thomas’ non-compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to the Department of Justice.

The letter outlines how, throughout his 20-year tenure on the Supreme Court, Thomas routinely checked a box titled “none” on his annual financial disclosure forms, indicating that his wife had received no income. But in reality, the letter states, she earned nearly $700,000 from the Heritage Foundation from 2003 to 2007 alone.

Slaughter called it “absurd” to suggest that Thomas may not have known how to fill out the forms.

Oops!  He just kind of forget nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.  Shucks, it could happen to anyone.  Read on:

“It is reasonable, in every sense of the word, to believe that a member of the highest court in the land should know how to properly disclose almost $700,000 worth of income,” Slaughter said in a statement. “To not be able to do so is suspicious, and according to law, requires further investigation. To accept Justice Thomas’s explanation without doing the required due diligence would be irresponsible.”

I have to believe that at least part of the reason that the Supremes are asked to fill out the forms is the highlight any potential areas of conflict.   Doesn’t the Chief Justice so much as look at them?  Or, did he suppose that Mrs. Thomas’ work for the Heritage Foundation was voluntary in nature?  Perhaps he took Justice Thomas’ word that his spouse’s employer would have no being on his ability to judge the forthcoming  The United Red States of America vs. The Affordable Health Care Act in a fair, dispassionate manner.

I sincerely hope that Attorney General Eric Holder does not take this lightly.  His record of dealing with government officials, past and present, leans sharply toward declining to intervene. That said, these are not ordinary times and this calls for extraordinary measures. At this juncture, the very essence of our government is at stake.  Without credible judicial oversight, I worry about the future of the nation.  If the Chief Justice cannot seem to keep things in line, perhaps the Justice Department must.

This is an open thread.

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Blog Archive

October 2011
« Sep   Nov »

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
20 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan


Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put


Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

Dems are coming for ya