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Obviously Thomas Must Recuse Himself

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Mrs.PatsFanInVa, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Too bad it takes another thread to discuss the same subject - but WP seems to think that you can discuss one without discussing the other - hence a new thread on a current subject.

    From a letter to Thomas signed by 74 congressional representatives.

    Dear Justice Thomas:

    As an Associate Justice, you are entrusted with the responsibility to exercise the highest degree of discretion and impartiality when deciding a case. As Members of Congress, we were surprised by recent revelations of your financial ties to leading organizations dedicated to lobbying against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We write today to respectfully ask that you maintain the integrity of this court and recuse yourself from any deliberations on the constitutionality of this act.

    The appearance of a conflict of interest merits recusal under federal law. From what we have already seen, the line between your impartiality and you and your wife's financial stake in the overturn of healthcare reform is blurred. Your spouse is advertising herself as a lobbyist who has "experience and connections" and appeals to clients who want a particular decision - they want to overturn health care reform. Moreover, your failure to disclose Ginny Thomas's receipt of $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, a prominent opponent of healthcare reform, between 2003 and 2007 has raised great concern


    44 - House Democrats say Justice Thomas should recuse himself in health-care case

    Legally speaking, (and I don't mind blurring both Thomas and Kagan since there's barely an article out there that does not mention both of them in regards to the Health Care Hearings) it seems that neither of them meets the criteria for a necessary recusal.

    From what has been revealed so far, most legal experts think not. Putting it plainly, James Sample, a law professor at Hofstra University School of Law who focuses on recusal issues, tells The Washington Times these accusations don't pass the bar. “I am generally one of the most pro-recusal scholars you can find, and yet I think in this instance those who are trying to argue for the recusal of Justice Kagan and Justice Thomas alike are opportunists who are trying to use a mechanism that just doesn’t fit,” he said.

    Recusal Wars Heat Up for the Supreme Court's Health Care Case - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

    In the interest of fairness, I say either both of them recuse themselves or they both stay.

    Calling for one to to do and not calling for the other to do so as well is the height of partisanship.
     
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    From another thread.. some heads are gonna explode, because they only think that ethics apply to the left.. Clarence's issues are clear.

    Code of Conduct for United States Judges

     
  3. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    Sorry but no matter how hard you look there's just no conflict of interest there. The only conflict is Thomas "conflicts" with the liberal viewpoint.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What don't you understand about this.. the extreme right only wants ethics to apply to the left.

     
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  5. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    From the looks of it, he only understands pictures.
     
  6. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    How is Thomas, or any member of his family, going to make money off his decision? :confused:
     
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  7. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thomas is a Black Man who thinks for himself in doing so he decided he didn't want to be a member of the hateful biased Democrat Plantation, the Left Wing can't tolerate this or even begin to understand it therefore Thomas, Herman Cain or any other Black Person who dares to leave "the fold" must be DESTROYED along with their whole family.

    It Is Called "LEFT WING LIBERAL RACISM"

    Black People Who Don't Tow The Line:
    (there are millions of them all over america who just get up in the morning go to workthen come home and watch tv, they are called "americans" they are normal hard working people" thats why you never hear about them.

    Racism is alive and well over on the left wing liberal democrat plantation.
     
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  8. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Try and read this slowly.. it might be difficult, so read it very slowly.

     
  9. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    Yup, just as I thought. You have absolutely no answer because fact is neither Thomas nor any family member of his stands to profit from the outcome of this USSC case.

    You just really don't have a clue how logic works, do you? I'm not arguing what the law says. I understand that a judge should be recused if they stand to profit from the outcome of a case. So you can quote the law (or ethical rulings) all day long and you still haven't established how Thomas will profit from making a decision one way or another.
     
  10. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The law is not necessarily based on right wing logic..

    Obviously you have right wing reading comprehension problems, if you cannot see it you will never understand...

    It is pretty much the same principle as to why Kagan should recuse herself, there is an obvious "appearance of impropriety".. when you become a judge, your spouse is an active player and her involvement in political activities has to be considered.

    If you witnessed "innumerable court proceedings" you would have seen on many occasions judges or attorneys recusing themselves from cases that their wives were involved with. You would also see judges and attorneys recusing themselves from cases that former law partners are involved in. You would see judges and attorneys recusing themselves from many different cases to avoid an "appearance of impropriety".

    It is difficult to be viewed as impartial jurist when your wife is involved and gets paid by an organization who is opposed to the health care bill...

    Allow me to break it down and make it simpler..

    in a party to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be affected substantially by the outcome of the proceeding;
     
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  11. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    His wife has profited from it in the past. For him to hear the case after his wife has actively worked to repeal the very law he's passing judgement on leaves him open to charges of bribery.

    People could say that his wife was given the job and the salary in return for her agreeing to convince her husband to vote in their favor - in this case declaring Obama's health care plan to be unconstitutional.

    At the very least it creates a lot of concern about pre-existing bias.
     
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  12. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I guess the left assumes that Ginny and Clarence Thomas aren't seperate people. Silly on it's face.

    The truth is that the left fear Thomas because he is the leading intellect on the court.
     
  13. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I guess the law itself is "silly on it's face," too, in that case, since it makes special mention of spouses and family members and has provisions covering their involvement in cases being heard.

    Apparently you didn't read that part - I took the liberty of bolding it for you in case you needed help.

    B) Outside Influence. A judge should not allow family, social, political, financial, or other relationships to influence judicial conduct or judgment. A judge should neither lend the prestige of the judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others nor convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge. A judge should not testify voluntarily as a character witness.

    (c)the judge knows that the judge, individually or as a fiduciary, or the judge’s spouse or minor child residing in the judge’s household, has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be affected substantially by the outcome of the proceeding;
    (d)the judge or the judge’s spouse, or a person related to either within the third degree of relationship, or the spouse of such a person is:
    (i) a party to the proceeding, or an officer, director, or trustee of a party;
    (ii) acting as a lawyer in the proceeding;
    (iii) known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding; or
    (iv) to the judge’s knowledge likely to be a material witness in the proceeding;
     
  14. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    How has his wife profited from the passage of Obama's health care bill? Or how would she profit if it were overturned? Should any justice who has a spouse who is employed in the medical field just recuse themselves? She works for political thinktanks and conservative advocacy groups. According to your logic, he should just recuse himself from every USSC case because every case has impacts that affects conservatives.
    Then those people would be complete morons. Anyone with an ounce of knowledge of Justice Thomas' history knows that his opposition to this health care plan is based 100% on ideaological grounds.
    I'm sure you'd have no such "concerns" if it were a liberal member of the bench.
     
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  15. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    You obviously don't understand the rationale for Kagan's recusal. Her recusal has nothing to do with the "appearance of impropriety" which is an extremely subjective term. One man's "appearance of impropriety" is another man's business as usual. I'm sure you believe that Thomas' wife should just shut up, stay home and not be employed because of how important her husband is.

    But Kagan's requirement to recuse herself is not based on anything subjective. She was a member of the administration when the law was passed and worked to advance it. That's 100% clear cut.
    I don't think it's anywhere near as common as you seem to think it is. But one of the very first thing a lawyer will do when meeting with a new client is check to make sure that they don't represent (or have never represented) that new client's opponent. I don't think that would formally be considered a "recusal" but the effect is the same.
     
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  16. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    She has profited from trying to repeal it. That's what they paid her for.
    That's what the agency she was CEO and president of do. They actively fight to get the health care bill declared unconstitutional.

    If the spouse is actively working either on behalf of or in objection to the bill, yeah, they should. Especially if they're being compensated for that specific activity.
     
  17. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    She is the CEO and the President of a conservative advocacy group. This group "gets paid" to take on a wide variety of issues. Should Thomas just recuse himself from everything because of that?
    Well then you'll be happy to hear that her advocacy group is a non-profit.

    Since you love Wiki so much, you should note the following from Wikipedia:

    (Virginia) Thomas has been criticized for her involvement in Liberty Central because someone who contributes to the group may have a case before the Supreme Court.[4] However, there is no law limiting what Thomas can do, and according to some legal experts Supreme Court Justices are not required to recuse themselves from cases where they may have a conflict of interest.[4]

    I guess since she's the wife of a powerful man, you feel she should just shut up and stay home and take care of his dinner and ironing.
     
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  18. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Excellent find, WP!! That effectively ends the arguments here and in the Kagan thread, doesn't it?

    However, there is no law limiting what Thomas can do, and according to some legal experts Supreme Court Justices are not required to recuse themselves from cases where they may have a conflict of interest

    Supreme Court Justices are not required to recuse themselves and there is no law limiting what they can do therefore both threads are moot. Both Thomas and Kagan can do whatever they want.
     
  19. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    No, just issues that come before him that they've been involved as a lobbyist or "advocate" on.
     
  20. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    I expect that I have to painfully explain things step by step to Darryl, but it's disappointing that I have to painfully explain things step by step to you.

    The Wikipedia quote refers to a potential conflict of interest; i.e. judges have no need to recuse themselves over a potential conflict of interest. Kagan should recuse herself, but not because of the potential appearance of a conflict of interest. She should recuse herself because that's what the law says someone in her position must do. To quote my article from the other thread:

    The law also says a justice must recuse anytime he has “expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy” while he “served in governmental employment.”

    That's not a matter of "conflict of interest" or "appearance of bias." She clearly expressed an opinion on the matter while serving as a member of the Obama administration and apparently was consulted on crafting a legal defense for the bill iteself. That's a very clear cut case where she should recuse herself by law.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011

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