A lot of breaking news about Clarence Thomas’s wingnut wife:
Virginia Thomas, a conservative activist married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, repeatedly pressed White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in a series of urgent text exchanges in the critical weeks after the vote, according to copies of the messages obtained by The Washington Post and CBS News.
The messages – 29 in all – reveal an extraordinary pipeline between Virginia Thomas, who goes by Ginni, and President Donald Trump’s top aide during a period when Trump and his allies were vowing to go to the Supreme Court in an effort to negate the election results.
On Nov. 10, after news organizations had projected Joe Biden the winner based on state vote totals, Thomas wrote to Meadows: “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!…You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”
In a sane society, this would be reason enough to remove Clarence from the bench of the nation’s highest court, but we are not a sane society. However, Allah may already be working on a plan to remove Clarence from the court permanently, as we are now on the fourth day of him missing and no one is willing to give an update on his health. As the saying goes, that would be an obit I would relish reading.
It’s my sincerest hope he has his just rewards.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
If Clarence Thomas were to snuff it for Covid-related reasons, an outcome which I neither endorse nor hope for, I will laugh my ass off, the fact that I neither endorse nor hope for said outcome notwithstanding.
Clarence’s “heart problems” seem conveniently timed.
Hope Sri Srinivasan is on stand-by. We could use some Asian reprensentation.
Well, after the detailed, transparent, and timely reports on Trump’s hospitalization for COVID, I see no reason whatsoever to doubt that reports on Thomas are both accurate and complete.
Don’t know if he’s really sick or just hiding from the blowback of Ginny’s extracurricular activities. If he’s sick he’s getting
goldplatinum standard health care which will probably pull his undeserving ass through.
I don’t see how his wife’s nuttiness should automatically mean that Thomas should be removed. But I find myself wishing him a full recovery followed by a swift and happy retirement.
It would be good to appoint the judge from South Carolina that Clyburn favors to replace a black justice. Two black women might give Graham and McConnell the strokes we so deserve.
That would be great!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
from the Washington Post story
“in the well doing”… is that from the Bible or Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter?
Makes you wonder if the Thomasses are applying for political asylum in Belarus like that guy who is wanted by the FBI for his involvement in the January 6 coup attempt.
He took time from his illness today to be the only dissenter in a case involving the religious rights of a death row inmate.
@MazeDancer: Heart problems? Is this new reporting?
I have loathed Uncle Clarence ever since GHWB put him into Thurgood Marshall’s seat. (I guess because Stepin Fetchit wasn’t available Uncle Clarence was his best shot.) Subsequently , I wish him his just desserts. Karma is a bitch…
He’s a year older than me and in a 4 yr period 2015-2019 I had 15 people I know, and not in my family, pass away. Only one was older than me and that by a year. None of them were accidents, all health related. Just thought you might want to know that it is entirely possible.
For the mealy mouthed among us, wishing him well and hoping he doesn’t croak. GTFO with that shit.
Clarence Thomas is pond scum. He exists to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. The country would be a significantly better place WITHOUT him.
BC in Illinois
Speaking of conveniently-timed diseases:
This is my dream. That Judge Childs be named to replace Justice Thomas.
@JoyceH: No, Clarence was always reported as having “heart problems”.
This Ginny stuff will make it harder for a serious problem to be hidden, actually. Also, no shot at a Weekend at Bernie’s scenario as was not-tastefully suggested all over Twitter.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
She’s not wrong. She just had the roles reversed.
Trying not to get my hopes up.
If she were 10-15 years younger, Anita Hill would be the perfect person to replace Thomas on SCOTUS.
I thought she was actually pretty conservative, or at least not all that liberal.
I do not wish ill to public figures in public forums.
As always, your mileage may vary.
Call me Eeyore but Clarence will return to his seat and nothing will happen. Democrats do not have the votes to impeach him, and the Supreme Court doesn’t police itself. It is what it is. Once his Ginnitis heartburn disappears, he’ll be back. In a day or two the story will die down, and we’ll be back to talking about gas prices.
@BC in Illinois: Just drag his ass into court in chains and be done with it.
New Deal democrat
Imagine we are sitting at the City Tavern in Philadelphia in 1787, discussing how to improve on the Articles of Confederation.
Me: “I’ve got this absolutely great idea! Here’s what we do: we appoint 9 people to a council. They get to rule on what anybody else in the entire government does. A majority of them can order them to do things, or order them not to do things. They can order ordinary citizens what to do, or not to do.
“And there’s no realistic recourse to overturn what they order, because even if you try that, they can interpret what you do to mean that their prior orders still stand.
“And the best part – the very best part – they’re on the council for life!!!
“Now, is that a great plan, or what?”
@Baud: I still want Michelle Childs so Lindsay can tie himself into knots on why he can’t support her.
@New Deal democrat: ha This blog only needs one Eeyore and I already claimed it. There is no recourse.
Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court would make a fine replacement for Uncle Ruckus.
Unapologetic liberal, first person of Asian ancestry on the Court if approved, and would totally stick it up the ass of the Republicans who scuttled his 9th circuit nomination during the Obama years.
I work for the government, and my required annual training includes a unit on ethics. The specific rules can be complex, but the principles are pretty obvious. From what I read (though my take may be naive) there’s been a recent strengthening of guidance. Roughly speaking, you don’t just consider the legality and ethics of a given action you might take—you think about how an ordinary member of the public would view it. It’s about influence more than anything else, but there’s the general idea that you avoid the appearance of impropriety.
Ginny Thomas and Clarence Thomas think they’re above such principles.
@MazeDancer: Fat men tend not to live deep into old age. Clarence is 73 and has been overweight for a long time. The heart problems are no surprise.
West of the Rockies
Thomas has struck me as singularly joyless for decades. He seems to be an existentially miserable person. His passing would prove a boon to society.
@Ruckus: Never said it was impossible, just that if he’s really sick he’s getting better care than anyone you or I know would ever get, which ups his chances of survival. I also think the timing is convenient, considering his fellows on SCOTUS voted to have the texts released and his was the lone vote against, so he knew this was coming.*
*@Brachiator: and that vote and his refusal to recuse in a case involving his wife seem to be impeachable grounds for removal.
@Ajabu: On second thought, Stepin Fetchit wouldn’t have worked at all. He (Lincoln Perry) was the first black actor to make $1 million a year and…in the 1960s he became a member of the nation of Islam at the urging of his close friends Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X.
“Don’t overthrow democracy” seems simple enough.
So, so many of our problems can be laid at the feet of the founders of the US. They decided that it would be too hard to design a system that would be workable if there were real political parties, so they simply assumed they wouldn’t emerge in our system. We have no mechanism to go on with democratic rule if a strong minority party simply refuses to let the other party govern. It’s surrender or stoppage.
Avoiding the appearance of impropriety should still be something we value, because it becomes harder to engage openly in actual impropriety if we don’t tolerate even a hint of something that might be improper.
@JoyceH: it can’t be heart problems, he doesn’t have one.
Let’s get Brown Jackson seated first. I don’t want to jinx that.
“Paging Dr. Jackson. Dr. Ronny Jackson….”
@RSA: when I trained to become a lowly English teacher, we had a whole bunch on ethics, a lot of it about avoiding even the appearance of impropriety, to the point of “be careful about touching students,” because a friendly or encouraging pat on the back can be horribly misconstrued. And then you have Ol’ Clarence and Crazy Ginni—ethics are for little people.
@West of the Rockies:
You remind me of a tale oft told back when being a member of the House of Representatives really meant something. To wit
A Representative well know for his less than stellar grasp of issues was elected to the Senate. A wag replied that his election elevated the intelligence quotient of both bodies.
@matt: The majority of Americans have a very childish view of the Constitution, regarding it as holy writ, inscribed by the finger of deity.
It’s actually a pretty wonky document, written by a bunch of fallible men, who were kind of just making it up as they went along. And the government/society they envisioned had failed by 1861.
@M. Bouffant: Well, that was 4 days ago…is he out yet?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: New King James translation: Be not weary in well doing.
@evodevo: No one will say.
“Reports of Justice Thomas taking a turn for the nurse remain unconfirmed at this time.”
@bbleh: The irony (if that’s the right word) is that according to contemporary GOP dogma, “Loving vs Virginia” would never have been decided, and those two would never have been married.
If Thomas dies, I can imagine another “McConnell” rule which will state we are too close to the midterm to seat another Justice.
@azlib: Too bad he doesn’t make the rules in this Congress.
@West of the Rockies: according to one of his former clerks, Thomas was very well liked by the other members of the Court on a personal level, and that his dour public persona is just that: a public persona. As I was being told this, all I could think was “I don’t give a fuck, he’s a rotten fucking Justice and creeper who never should have been confirmed”. (Said former clerk later got an thoroughly unearned appointment to the state supreme court, making him far and away the least qualified member, and then nabbed a lifetime appointment to the federal bench that he never deserved either.)
Should Justice Thomas leave the bench in some fashion, there are scads of wonderful candidates for Biden to nominate, and for republicans to make up a ton of BS about.
If it happens now, it might be a Manchin or Sinema rule.
The Thin Black Duke
@TonyG: Traitors to their blood such as Steven Miller, Clarence Thomas and Glen Greenwald always assume that they’ll never hear that ominous knock on their door.
@M. Bouffant: Twitter was full of “heart problems” stuff. No doubt all wrong.
Also infection seems odd unless he got it in the hospital.
I, myself, got a hospital based infection and was one lucky anti-biotic away from lights out.
Thomas could be near death or just hiding out.
Robert Costa just tweeted he and Woodward had been working on this for weeks. That points to hiding out.
@The Thin Black Duke: Speaking of (traitors, that is) this investigation of the Jan 6th insurrectionist who fled to Belarus has some interesting tidbits.
New thread, more details, upstairs.
(For the record, *my* post was finished before Cole’s, but I scheduled it to give TaMara’s ‘Kindness’ post some space.)
Jeez…that Post article. Ginni is mentally ill. Maybe Clarence is in the hospital to get away from her for a few days.
@satby: He’s 49, he says he lived in East Germany, which ceased to be 3 October 1990, when he was 17 or 18. So I assume he was born there?
@satby: Huh. Wonder if he’s involved in placing the bombs the night before? (before Jan 6)
@Anne Laurie: See, someone loves me, LOL.
@Calouste: He doesn’t say that, but does say it was while he was a teenager (footnote #8):
@Wapiti: bet the FBI wonders too.
And just like his fellow traveler Limbaugh, and so many other wingnuts, no one will miss him a week later, or note anything he did or said.
Odd note: the Fro family shared an elevator ride down n’ out of the Kennedy Center with Justice Thomas (and a couple other folks) after seeing ‘In The Heights’ there a few years ago.
No Ginni, no other friends or acquaintances with him. Sad.
His wife being a nut shouldn’t be reason to remove him. Him refusing to recuse himself on a case involving his wife should be. This is completely adequate grounds for impeaching him, but that won’t happen because the chance of him being convicted by the Senate is zero.
@azlib: Of course McConnell would go there, he’s shameless. Laura Ingraham said Biden shouldn’t be able to appoint a justice because of his low poll numbers. Though McConnell wouldn’t say Biden’s poll numbers were the primary reason for blocking another nomination I wouldn’t doubt him mentioning them.
Way too much emphasis gets put on the framers and not enough on the failure of the people since then to do anything to improve the situation. Yeah, the framers didn’t get everything perfect in the Constitution, but they included a process to amend it. It’s the fault of everyone since their time that we have barely used that power to fix the problems with the Constitution as they became manifest.
@Anne Laurie: How kind of you.
Justice Thomas’s wife’s possibly criminal activity would not require him to leave the Court, but it must require him to recuse himself from cases involving her conduct. He violated this is the most brazen way by ruling on the question of whether the 1/6 commission could request documents. Thomas voted against the request, which, had it carried along his colleagues, would have allowed his wife to shield her texts from the Committee. This is incredibly corrupt. He should be impeached.
That much has been abundantly clear ever since she rage called Anita Hill for having the temerity to stand up to her husband during his
One of the worst aspects of these lifetime appointments is that it puts us in the position of wishing for somebody’s death.
I’m serious. It’s corrosive to our souls. No government should function on that basis.
Thomas is an odious person. I do not wish him a long and happy life, even off the bench. But I would like to not have to desire his death in order to save democracy. There should be a better way.
The worst aspect is is makes them completely untouchable.
Nothing at all will happen to Ginni and Clarence Thomas. She’ll continue to work to overturn US elections when Republicans lose and he’ll continue to hear cases on that issue where he should recuse. There’s no way to reach them. They know it.
The New Yorker will carefully and completely compile all the evidence along with the Washington Post and it won’t go anywhere at all. It’s just a record of the corruption, and once it’s reported that’s where it ends. It has no real or practical import beyond that.