Actually, let me correct the title. He didn’t just not disclose it…he lied about it. Because there’s no way he simply forgot.
Between 2003 and 2007, Virginia Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, earned $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, according to a Common Cause review of the foundation’s IRS records. Thomas failed to note the income in his Supreme Court financial disclosure forms for those years, instead checking a box labeled “none” where “spousal noninvestment income” would be disclosed. […]
In his 2009 disclosure, Justice Thomas also reported spousal income as “none.” Common Cause contends that Liberty Central paid Virginia Thomas an unknown salary that year.
Wonder if he’ll disclose her 2010 income?
Of course Thomas is famously an advocate of zero transparency when it comes to campaign contributions, so it’s not like this is necessarily surprising. Still, what could happen to Thomas for these very obvious violations? Would you be surprised if I told you absolutely nothing?
And not only will nothing happen to him, but, well, you’ll see…
But Steven Lubet, an expert on judicial ethics at Northwestern University School of Law, said such an infraction was unlikely to result in a penalty. Although unfamiliar with the complaint about Thomas’ forms, Lubet said failure to disclose spousal income “is not a crime of any sort, but there is a potential civil penalty” for failing to follow the rules. He added: “I am not aware of a single case of a judge being penalized simply for this.”
The Supreme Court is “the only judicial body in the country that is not governed by a set of judicial ethical rules,” Gillers said.
So let’s get this straight…the highest court in the land with the most at stake doesn’t have any code of ethics? Talk about unfettered and unchecked power. We seriously need to reform the SCOTUS. No more lifetime appointments. Sure, maybe lifetime appointments made sense back in 1776 when the life expectancy was 35, but not anymore. It doesn’t make any sense.
This from ABC:
“It has come to my attention that information regarding my spouse’s employment required in Part III B of my financial disclosure report was inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions,” Thomas wrote in a letter to the committee that handles the reports.
I call shenanigans. Especially when you consider this…
None of Thomas’ forms, covering activities through Dec. 31, 2009, mention his wife’s work at Liberty Central, a conservative political education group she co-founded in January 2009 in part to energize Tea Party activists.
But the group did not officially launch until May 2010, which will only be covered during in the next disclosure period.
More as it develops…