Member Of House Judiciary Panel Goes After Clarence Thomas For ‘Violating The Law’

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Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, claims that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “violated the law” with his acceptance of luxury accommodations provided by various wealthy figures. Additional reporting that outlines some of the benefits that Thomas enjoyed has emerged after earlier reports already spotlighted the judge’s ties to billionaire Harlan Crow.

“Would billionaires have given Justice Clarence Thomas massive gifts if he was just a law clerk? NO,” Lieu argued Thursday. “That’s what makes this corrupt. They were seeking to curry favor with Justice Thomas, either directly or indirectly. And Justice Thomas violated the law in accepting the gifts.” Though Lieu didn’t explain in the post which specific laws he alleges that Thomas violated, the judge has already faced specific concerns for his lack of disclosures around the benefits he was getting while serving on the highest court in the United States, where his decisions can impact the daily lives of hundreds of millions.

Republicans have taken broadsides against Thomas personally. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for instance, has alleged that concern about Thomas is based in some kind of racial animosity from Democratic politicians, because an “African-American is not allowed to be a conservative” in the Democrats’ claimed view.

Elsewhere, corrective action imagined by Democrats and concerned observers has included Thomas exiting the Supreme Court, legislators enacting a more stringent code of ethics for its members, and Congress expanding the number of members that are on the Supreme Court, which it has done before. The Supreme Court’s high-profile decisions with its current composition have included effectively undoing a plan from President Joe Biden and his team for wide-reaching relief from student debt for many Americans, though the administration has still been able to enact large amounts of relief through more specialized initiatives for groups like public service workers and individuals who’ve made certain levels of payment already.