“‘tis, better to be silent
and be thought a fool, than to speak remove all doubt”
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has just proven Abraham Lincoln’s observation to be on point. Thomas often called the “silent” member of the Court for not having asked a question during oral arguments for at least seven years, has just spoken and removed any doubt as to his stupidity. This judge is not only a fool but may well have violated civil and criminal statutes. And by the way, he is one of the guys that are the final arbiters of the law in our country.
Thomas is not only silent but deaf and dumb. It seems that old Clarence is married to a lady by the name of Virginia, “Ginnie” to her friends. This good woman is gainfully employed, a commendable effort on her part. Far be it for me to suggest that her employment was a perk thrown Thomas’ way. From 2003 to 2007 she was employed by the Heritage Foundation of Washington, D. C., a conservative think tank, and
of rural Hillsdale College and was paid a substantial sum for her efforts, $686,589 to be exact. Michigan
It is unclear what exactly Virginia did to earn this salary but from available sources she was the author of a number of position papers with such arresting titles as Restoring Integrity to Government with Performance, Results, and Accountability; Not More Laws – More Oversight; Time for Congress to Hold Legal Services Corporation Accountable, and Legislation without Adequate Oversight. Emphasis Supplied. She clearly stood for oversight, accountability and full disclosure. Good for her!
In 1978 the Ethics in Government Act was passed with the admirable purpose of ordering all public officials, including Supreme Court Justices, to provide financial disclosure of their, their spouses’ and certain dependents’, income and liabilities. Failure to do so in a timely and truthful fashion made the filer liable for fines for late filing, civil liability for willfully filing false information and potential criminal prosecution. Old Thomas filed the required forms for the years in question but somehow failed to note that Ginnie was gainfully employed and by whom. By the way, the Supreme Court Financial Disclosure Form does not require disclosure of the amount of her compensation.
When this tiny oversight, after all it was only $686,589, was brought to Thomas’ attention by Common Cause, a liberal advocacy group, he promptly filed amended financial disclosure statements for six years claiming that this financial bagatelle was “inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions”. Either he is a fool, the more likely scenario, or he takes us for fools. If you believe that lame explanation you may well be interested in a bridge that I am trying to sell, the
. Brooklyn Bridge
The Supreme Court disclosure form entitled FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE INDIVIDUAL AND SPOUSE, SEE PP. 17-24 INSTRUCTIONS]. Part A is FILER’S NON-INVESTMENT INCOME. Old Clarence filled out that part properly. But then he was stumped by Part B, SPOUSE’S NON INVESTMENT INCOME. He was stumped by that one presumably after reading the instructions. After all the $686,589 was not investment income so why bother reporting it. Whatever!
Old Clarence was not deterred in his false non reporting by the language of the Certification Section: I CERTIFY THAT ALL INFORMATION GIVEN [INCLUDING INFORMATION PERTAINING TO MY SPOUSE AND MINOR OR DEPENDENT CHILDREN, IF ANY] IS ACCURATE, TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF…… Nor was he deterred by the language directly below his signature: NOTE: ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILFULLY FALSIFIES OR FAILS TO FILE THIS REPORT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CIVIL AND CRIMINAL SANCTIONS [5 USC app §104].
Now Thomas went to law school and not just any law school but Yale Law School. One would think that he is aware that §104 allows the Attorney General to bring a civil action “against any individual who knowingly willfully falsifies or who knowingly and willfully fails to file or report any information that such individual is required to report” and seek a civil penalty not to exceed $50,000. Being not only a lawyer but a judge to boot he should be aware that 18 USC §1001 provides that “whoever…knowingly and willfully…conceals…a material fact; makes any materially false…statement or representation; or makes…a false writing or document knowing the same to contain materially false…statement or entry; shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years…or both”.
Clarence Thomas called himself an “Uppity Black” during his confirmation hearings. It will be interesting to see if American justice is truly color blind and whether the powers that be, the Establishment, calls him to task in accordance with the law as it is now stands.