Two appeals court justices are throwing cold water on Democrats’ attempt to fabricate another scandal concerning Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman dismissed the term “scandal” and said he didn’t think Justice Thomas had done anything improperly.
Judge Hardiman and Judge James Ho of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals answered inquiries regarding Justice Thomas at a gathering at Princeton University.
“The thing that I thought was weird about the Justice Thomas thing is the ‘scandal,’ to use your word, there was no intimation at any time, ever, that his billionaire friend ever had any business before the Supreme Court. So, how’s he helping his friend? He’s not even in a position to help his friend because his friend had exactly zero cases in the Supreme Court,” Judge Hardiman said, responding to a student’s question.
“You know, I decide cases involving lawyers in Pittsburgh. And I know these lawyers, some of them are former law partners of mine. I belong to organizations with them, I go to lunch with them. Should I not hear their cases? If you have such suspicion about our integrity, you could really end up in a situation where judges can’t even do their jobs because at some point you’re attached to everybody,” he said.
The “billionaire friend” in question is Harlan Crow, who allegedly sent Justice Thomas opulent gifts, according to left-leaning outlet ProPublica.
“I think that’s a great answer,” Judge Ho responded, who is a former clerk for Justice Thomas at the Supreme Court, said. He said there was a difference between “an actual instance of corruption” and “the mere perception” of it.
“I think the appearance issue is absolutely important” because “the judiciary basically rests on its credibility” and therefore “it is absolutely vital to what we do that people believe in what we do,” the judge said.
Additionally, a close friend of Justice Thomas claimed that there is ample evidence to refute claims that he frequently broke ethical guidelines.
This comes at a time when liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is facing criticism after it was discovered that her net worth has dramatically increased since she was appointed to the court.
Sotomayor, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by then-President Barack Obama, has accumulated a modest wealth, according to financial disclosure documents.
According to Fox News:
In 2007, the sum of Sotomayor’s total investments was between $50,001 and $115,000, according to her financial disclosure form for that year. She reported only two assets: a checking account and a savings account, both at Citibank.
In 2008, Sotomayor’s financial disclosures show she had the same two assets, this time totaling $15,001 to $65,000. The following year, during which Sotomayor was both nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court, she held the same investments for the same range of value.
Since then, Sotomayor’s net worth has skyrocketed, putting her among the ranks of the nation’s millionaires. In 2021, her investments totaled somewhere between $1.5 million and $6.4 million, according to financial disclosure forms. Last year, investments were roughly the same, in between $1.6 million and $6.6 million.
Sotomayor’s yearly salary was about $180,000 as a federal appeals court judge before Obama nominated her, supplemented by about $25,000 a year from teaching at New York-area law schools. That salary went up several thousands of dollars upon becoming a Supreme Court justice.
Except for the chief justice, who earns just under $300,000, justices are being paid $285,400 each.
One reason for the enormous increase in Sotomayor’s assets and net worth is the income she has earned from writing books.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that her aides routinely “prodded” public institutions that were hosting the justice to buy her memoir or children’s books. Since she joined the Supreme Court, she has made at least $3.7 million from these works, and she still receives six-figure royalties every year.
Penguin Random House, Sotomayor’s publisher, has had a significant role in setting up her events, including pressuring public organizations to pledge to purchasing a specific amount of copies or requiring guests to buy books before they can get tickets.