The Left's Obsession With Clarence Thomas: Is It Really About Justice or Politics?

Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

To say that leftists despise Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with the passion of a thousand burning suns would be an understatement. This became more than evident when he was first nominated for a seat on the highest court in the land. Democrats brought out every vicious slander and attack they could to prevent him from being seated – and they failed miserably.

But this has never stopped them from targeting Thomas, who has remained in his seat since October 15, 1991. Nevertheless, they are continuing to smear the man in hopes of getting him booted out of his position. The question is: Why are they continuing to go after Thomas when they know there is no chance of removing him through impeachment or intimidation?

ProPublica, a left-wing activist media outlet, published a piece earlier this month calling into question Thomas’ relationship with billionaire and Republican donor Harlan Crow, who has reportedly given Thomas and his wife valuable gifts and funded their travels.

The authors raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest and questions about why Thomas did not disclose these gifts and travel on his financial disclosure forms. The article also explores other instances where Thomas’ impartiality and ethics have been called into question, including his wife’s political activities and his own controversial rulings. Ultimately, the article suggests that Thomas’ actions may undermine public trust in the Supreme Court and raise concerns about the influence of wealthy donors on the nation’s highest court.

However, supporters of Thomas argue that he has done nothing wrong and that the controversy is politically motivated. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Crow said he and Thomas are the targets of a “political hit job.”

During the interview, Crow said the media “has an agenda to destabilize the [Supreme] Court” and accused them of “unfairly slamming” him and Thomas.

Others have defended the Supreme Court justice, arguing that ProPublica’s reporting on the matter was deeply flawed and suggested that some of the failures to disclose transactions were done in error. In a piece for the Wall Street Journal, columnist James Taranto asserts that Thomas followed the filing instructions for judicial officers and employees, and the ProPublica article made a sloppy reporting error by misinterpreting his disclosures.

For example, Taranto notes ProPublica’s reporting on an instance in which a company Crow owns bought Thomas’ childhood home with the intention to turn it into a museum “telling the story of our nation’s second black Supreme Court Justice,” according to a written statement Crow provided for ProPublica. The author indicates that if Thomas got one-third of the sale price, he would have been required to disclose the transaction as is required of a Supreme Court justice. The author writes:

But my review of Justice Thomas’s disclosures and other documents convinces me that any failure to disclose was an honest mistake. On all other matters involving his scanty real-estate inheritance, he followed the Filing Instructions for Judicial Officers and Employees, prepared by the Committee on Financial Disclosures of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Those instructions don’t make clear the statutory obligation to disclose the 2014 transaction.

This is just one of several examples Taranto points out noting how the ProPublica authors made factual errors and exaggerated Thomas’ supposed transgressions. Predictably, none of this stopped folks on the left from calling for the judge’s ouster.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who probably can’t even spell “impeachment,” went on a diatribe on CNN arguing that Thomas should be removed from his seat. She said it was the responsibility of House Republicans “to pursue that investigation in the form of impeachment.”

“I believe that we should pursue the course. And if it is Republicans that decide to protect those who are breaking the law, then they are the ones who then are responsible for that decision,” she said. “But we should not be complicit in that.”

If that wasn’t silly enough, Ocasio-Cortez even pledged to file articles of impeachment against Thomas.

Tim Wise, antiracism educator and author, took to Twitter to echo AOC’s sentiments. “Impeach this grifter. He’s a corrupt con artist. Impeach him. If the right wasn’t just about power at all costs they’d agree,” he tweeted.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the left-wing meltdown over ProPublica’s hit piece. But needless to say, they are vociferously pushing for Thomas to be taken off of the court.

They are not going to succeed, and they know it.

This is not the first time Democrats have demanded that Thomas be impeached. The last time they pushed for this was when they tried to use comments made by the judge’s wife in relation to the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol building against him.

It didn’t work then either.

So why are they doing this? What’s the point of raising all this fuss when you know it is not going to get your desired outcome?

Perhaps they believe they can pressure Clarence Thomas to retire in disgrace. It is certainly possible that they might think they could bring this about – but the justice has gone through far worse than this current smear attempt. He is unlikely to bend to their demands in this instance.

It seems more likely that this is just another way to score some cheap political points against House Republicans, who probably spent a good 20 minutes rolling on the floor howling in laughter when they saw Democrats asking them to impeach Thomas. The activist media is using this to somehow label Republicans as hypocrites for not addressing this not-so-clear example of corruption in one of their most cherished of government officials.

If this is the case, it’s a desperate move. Nobody cares about Thomas making mistakes on his disclosures. Nobody cares that he took trips with a billionaire. Indeed, it would not be difficult to find other left-leaning officials who have done the same thing. The left might be trying to use this story to distract from the utter mess their president is making of things. But if they think that is going to work, they might want to go back to the drawing board.


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