In a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts, 16 congressional Democrats asked him to investigate the luxury trips Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted for more than two decades from a major Republican donor.
Livid Democrats have been trying to get Thomas removed from the court ever since former President Trump was successful in getting 3 conservative judges placed on the highest judicial body in the nation.
Roberts received a letter on Friday from eight senators and eight representatives urging him to investigate Thomas’ possible unethical or “potentially unlawful” misconduct. The court has so far only “barely acknowledged” the allegations, according to the letter.
“We believe that it is your duty as Chief Justice ‘to safeguard public faith in the judiciary,’ and that fulfilling that duty requires swift, thorough, independent and transparent investigation into these allegations,” reads the letter.
In a report released on Thursday, ProPublica detailed the trips Thomas has taken with billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow over the years, including sailing on Crow’s yacht, flying on his private plane, and engaging with Crow’s “powerful” buddies.
Dallas-based developer Crow is in the real estate business.
Thomas did not disclose any of these gifts during the years he received them, some of them being worth more than $500,000, according to the leftist rag, The Hill.
Thomas responded to the report by saying he was “advised” he didn’t have to disclose anything.
“Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable,” he explained.
Democrats in the letter state that these types of gifts should be disclosed annually by top officials, including Supreme Court justices. It stated that “limited” exceptions permit officials to “enjoy hospitality in the course of ordinary, personal friendships” without being enabled to “hide from the public extravagant gifts by wealthy political interests.”
Thomas’s companions on these trips should be investigated, according to the signers. Despite the fact that the public doesn’t know if anyone else had interests related to Thomas’ “official duties,” they believe Crow has connections to multiple groups that have filed amicus briefs in court.
If Roberts does not take action, they said Congress needs to act to “restore ethics and accountability” on the court.
“It is well past time for the Supreme Court to align with the rest of government in a proper code of ethics enforced by independent investigation and reporting,” the letter demands.
Thomas is a hero among conservatives and pro-America gun owners.
In one of the most significant Second Amendment victories in nearly two decades, last June the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that New York’s concealed carry law was unconstitutional.
According to experts, the ruling means that similarly restrictive concealed carry laws, which are primarily found in blue states, are also likely to be challenged in court with the same results.
“This decision is a big deal,” FiveThirtyEight announced following the decision. “Previously, the court had only said that the Constitution protected the ability to have a gun inside the home for self-defense. In that decision, which came down in 2008, the justices didn’t rule on how guns carried outside the home could be regulated. It took almost 15 years for the justices to come back to that question, but now they have.”
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his majority opinion stating that the Second Amendment “protect[s] an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” hence statutes such as the one in New York, “which required people who wanted a license to carry a concealed handgun in public to show they have a good reason, are no longer allowed,” FiveThirtyEight added.
Now, Senate Republicans are proposing legislation codifying the Supreme Court’s landmark self-defense ruling of 2022.
“The legislation, backed by all GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, would codify the high court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The 6-3 decision, issued last June, was authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, who said New York’s gun-licensing requirement that a person must show proper need to carry a firearm ran afoul of the Second Amendment right to self-defense,” according to the Washington Times.
In order to protect future Supreme Court decisions, Senate Republicans want to codify the ruling.
“We have a Bill of Rights and it is not an a la carte menu. Every right as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court matters,” Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy said.
“With this bill, we are ensuring that the rights affirmed by the Supreme Court are part of the federal code — and preventing a future Supreme Court from reversing this decision. The Respect for the Second Amendment Act will memorialize the holdings in these landmark Supreme Court cases and provide further protection to the Second Amendment,” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham declared.
“In February, a federal appeals court struck down a measure banning the possession of a firearm by anyone under a court order for domestic violence, such as stalking, harassing, or threatening an intimate partner,” reported Conservative Brief.
“I can’t square that decision with the actual danger that women and police officers face from armed domestic abusers, and I don’t believe the founders of our nation would want courts to ignore this danger when applying the Constitution they wrote,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, on Wednesday.
“The chaos the Bruen decision has caused is predictable,” he added.
Last year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 to uphold a statute in California banning magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Furthermore, the justices remanded a Maryland case that challenged the state’s banning of 45 types of so-called “assault” weapons back to an appeals court. The Supreme Court had previously rejected a challenge to that law in 2017.
“Thomas’s opinion states regulations need to be historically consistent with the Second Amendment,” according to FiveThirtyEight.
“That means when they look at a modern gun regulation, judges will have to figure out if another, reasonably similar law was passed earlier in the country’s history. Previously, courts had also considered whether a regulation could be justified for other reasons, but that second layer of consideration is no longer allowed,” FTE explained.