Author Topic: It's time for Clarence Thomas to resign.  (Read 3138 times)

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: It's time for Clarence Thomas to resign.
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2011, 07:16:50 am »


This "outrage" is all so phony; it makes me sick.
Or I could agree with what Curtis posted.

Of course you 'could.'  Citing "Curtis" as a surrogate for independent thought is so much easier than keeping an open mind and applying standards of fundamental fairness and even-handedness.
Because it's not possible that life long friends might actually agree with each other occasionally.

Flippantly ignore all of the material I posted above. Don't seriously consider it.

Avoid prolonged exposure to any information, any ideas, or any facts, that might challenge your prejudices and double standards, or, worse yet, precipitate serious introspection.
Um, no thanks. You go right ahead. But why do you presume that anyone else's views are not well considered?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 07:55:55 am by Curtis Metcalf »
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: It's time for Clarence Thomas to resign.
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2011, 07:54:25 am »
Actually, I PM'ed Curtis and suggested that he simply copy the text of his prior post, then delete his prior post and re-post it after mine, so that the posts would be in order. 
Too late.

However, in response to what Curtis wrote, of course there is no principled way to distinguish the (no doubt) hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by the ACLU to Ninth Circuit Judge Reinhardt's wife, Ramona Ripston, over a period of decades.  Ripston was the executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, an experienced lawyer, and a senior executive with the organization. Anything paid to Ripston was paid to Reinhardt as half of her income is his community property under California law.  As a judge with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Reinhardt decides issues of critical importance to the ACLU. I have no objection to this, any more than I have an objection to Ginny Thomas being paid for her executive positions as a conservative political activist while her husband decides important Constitutional issues. The rights of women to pursue their careers, including outspoken public careers, should not be constrained because their husbands are jurists. Certainly not in 2011. 
So then, you see no difference in the two situations, one drawing a salary for work performed over decades, the other receiving a lump sum to start Liberty Central. Very well. I respectfully disagree.

Let's review the allegations:
A New York Times expose published Sunday details the improper ties between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and influential rightwing funder and activist Harlan Crow.1

Crow is a major contributor to conservative causes and a stalwart supporter of Clarence Thomas. In past years he reportedly gave Thomas' wife, Ginni Thomas, $500,000 to exploit the Citizens United decision and start a shadowy, Tea Party-related group called Liberty Central. He gave Thomas a Bible (estimated value $15,000) that once belonged to Frederick Douglass, and allegedly provided the Supreme Court Justice with access to his yacht and private jet.

As if that wasn't enough, the New York Times has revealed that Thomas may have improperly solicited a multi-million dollar donation from Crow to benefit one of his own pet projects near his birth place in a remote coastal community outside Savannah, Georgia.
Setting aside the payment to Mrs. Thomas for the moment, what do you think of the other allegations if true?

Yet Reginald objects to this, at least in the case of the Ginny Thomas, the wife of Clarence Thomas. Why?  Of course because Thomas is a Conservative Jurist (to use the more tame adjective, not the derogatory phrase Reginald is fond of), not an extremely Liberal Jurist like Reinhardt. And Ginny is a Tea Party activist, not a Left-wing activist like Ramona.  What we are seeing here is just more of the same old HEF Double-Standard.
Oh there you go with your lawyer tricks again, dismantling an argument that no one actually made.

Furthermore, the facade the judges don't have viewpoints, and don't adhere to judicial philosophies, but rather are nothing but "impartial" machines churning out the law, is absurd. Which is why the entire premise surrounding the criticism of Thomas here is so ridiculous.  There is no indication that Thomas or Reinhardt have compromised their principles, whatsoever.
Is it ethical to accept payment as long as you were going to decide that way anyway?

This "outrage" is all so phony; it makes me sick.
Because you can see into the hearts of the outraged and sense their duplicity? You must be sure to use this power only for good.

Speaking for myself, I am quite concerned as an American that a member of the highest court apparently has such disregard for the appearance of impropriety. While I do agree that Mrs. Thomas has the right to pursue her career, she and Justice Thomas should be above board about her dealings (and, of course, avoid any actual impropriety) to avoid undermining the authority of the court and by extension the rule of law. In my view, the Thomases have fallen short of this standard -- admittedly a standard of duty, not of law.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: It's time for Clarence Thomas to resign.
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2011, 08:12:03 am »
Just preserving this.

Why do I believe that Reginald has not seriously thought about this issue?  Because Reginald does not respond in any meaningful way that suggests he has given the matter serious consideration, as opposed to giving the "expected" answer. He fails to address any of the material posted, above. He accepts your dismissal of what has had to be very significant compensation paid to Judge Reinhardt's wife, ACLU's Southern California Executive Director, a senior executive with the organization, for many many years (which income is as much Judge Reinhardt's as Ramona Ripston's under California's community property laws).  Furthermore, do you seriously believe that Reinhardt has never attended a public function for the ACLU with his wife?

Reginald unthinkingly accepts your specious claim that the Reinhardt issue involves only one case, but of course the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regularly hears cases that decide issues of central importance to the ACLU, so the alleged issue of bias (were it a real issue) is pervasive. He ignores the inherent sexism of the demand that a wife's career as a public figure, advocate or activist, must be constrained because of the public job her husband holds.  

The "paymetns" to Ginny Thomas are in connection with her career as a conservative poltical advocate, activist and organizer, including her Tea Party-related work, that you and Reginald object to. There is zero evidence that any ruling of Justice Thomas would have been different absent his wife's work.  As to his receiving a gift from a friend and colleague, in what way did this influence his rulings?  As to supporting a charity or "pet project" (as it is described), I would need to know more about it, though as a general rule support of charities is a good thing. I do see a great deal of bias in the author of the article, with his evident spin throughout the article.

The real issue here is that you and Reginald Hudlin oppose Justice Thomas precisely because he sticks to his legal principles, not because he is unduly influenced to sway from them.  So just be honest and object to his legal analysis and conclusions in specific cases. Because, if Thomas were the ideological Left-wing "Stephen Reinhardt" of the Supreme Court, we would not hear a peep from Reginald Hudlin in objection to him, no matter how active "his" wife would be, or how highly compensated she would be as an advocate, for "Progressive" causes and lobbying organizations.

I would really like to hear Reginald Hudlin speak for himself. Instead of his somehow thinking that your apologia let's him off the ethical hook for applying different moral standards to different people (based on whether he likes 'em or not).  Something that is routinely done on his Forum.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

michaelintp

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Re: It's time for Clarence Thomas to resign.
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2011, 08:12:10 am »
Why do I believe that Reginald has not seriously thought about this issue?  Because Reginald does not respond in any meaningful way that suggests he has given the matter serious consideration, as opposed to giving the "expected" answer. He fails to address any of the material posted, above. He accepts your dismissal of what has had to be very significant compensation paid to Judge Reinhardt's wife, ACLU's Southern California Executive Director, a senior executive with the organization, for many many years (which income is as much Judge Reinhardt's as Ramona Ripston's under California's community property laws).  Furthermore, do you seriously believe that Reinhardt has never attended a public function for the ACLU with his wife?

Reginald unthinkingly accepts your specious claim that the Reinhardt issue involves only one case, but of course the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regularly hears cases that decide issues of central importance to the ACLU, so the alleged issue of bias (were it a real issue) is pervasive. He ignores the inherent sexism of the demand that a wife's career as a public figure, advocate or activist, must be constrained because of the public job her husband holds.   

The "payments" to Ginny Thomas are in connection with her career as a conservative poltical advocate, activist and organizer, including her Tea Party-related work, that you and Reginald object to. There is zero evidence that any ruling of Justice Thomas would have been different absent his wife's work.  As to his receiving a gift from a friend and colleague, in what way did this influence his rulings?  As to supporting a charity or "pet project" (as it is described), I would need to know more about it, though as a general rule support of charities is a good thing. I do see a great deal of bias in the author of the article, with his evident spin throughout the article.

The real issue here is that you and Reginald Hudlin oppose Justice Thomas precisely because he sticks to his legal principles, not because he is unduly influenced to sway from them.  So just be honest and object to his legal analysis and conclusions in specific cases. Because, if Thomas were the ideological Left-wing "Stephen Reinhardt" of the Supreme Court, we would not hear a peep from Reginald Hudlin in objection to him, no matter how active "his" wife would be, or how highly compensated she would be as an advocate, for "Progressive" causes and lobbying organizations.

I would really like to hear Reginald Hudlin speak for himself. Instead of his somehow thinking that your apologia let's him off the ethical hook for applying different moral standards to different people (based on whether he likes 'em or not).  Something that is routinely done on his Forum.

michaelintp

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Re: It's time for Clarence Thomas to resign.
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2011, 08:16:52 am »
Curtis, please cut the Mr. Cutie routine. Note the corrected text above. I believe you will note a corrected typo.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: It's time for Clarence Thomas to resign.
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2011, 08:23:35 am »
Curtis, please cut the Mr. Cutie routine. Note the corrected text above. I believe you will note a corrected typo.
Mr. Cutie?
I am The Unmistakeable Mr. Anti-Foolishness. Don't you remember?  ;D

I've also got to go. Back in a few days.

I notice you didn't answer any of my questions. Can't say I'm surprised.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 08:25:06 am by Curtis Metcalf »
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."