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by Charing Ball

I’ve been trying to figure out what motivates Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court judge and unapologetic handkerchief head, for a number of years now and I still have no clue as to what makes him tick.

But I will say that Clarence is lucky to have a wife like Virginia, as she might be the one person in his life, who can make him feel like an absolute genius.

Virginia Lamp Thomas, also known to all as Ginni, recently launched a nonprofit lobbying group called Liberty Central, which she hopes will be bigger than the Tea Party movement. Among the group’s five founding principles are limited government, free enterprise, individual freedom, national security and personal responsibility.

Besides preparing to take back America from the “leftist tyranny” of President Obama and the Democrats in Congress in November, the group plans to issue baseball-style score cards for Congressional members, which I guess will rank politicians by their conservative values.

Ginni has told newspapers that she hopes that she and the organization can be the bridge, which unites the Republican establishment with the angry crowds rallying out of anger and frustration. She is certainly no stranger to politics herself: a lawyer and former staffer for the Republican congressman package Armey as well as the former director at the Heritage Foundation, which is a conservative think tank that ironically claims “to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”

While I wouldn’t suggest that the conspiracy theorist get the tin-foil hats out just quite yet, I will say that the Heritage Foundation’s principles reads strangely familiar and noticeably complimentary to that of Liberty Central’s.

Understandably, some have taken issue with Ginni’s activism, particularly because of her husband’s occupation as a judge on the highest court of the land as well as her timing in creating a lobbying group immediately after the Court voted to loosen campaign contribution laws, which Clarence voted for along with the majority of judges.

Supreme Court justices are supposed to recuse themselves from cases in which they may have a personal bias, including those in which they or close relatives have a financial interest. However, such self-disqualifications are only voluntary and good ole’ Uncle Clarence certainly didn’t heed the suggestion.

Those defending Ginni and Clarence’s peculiar ties point to various politicians and political activists – on both sides of the aisle – who are literal bedfellows with those on the bench.  Former National Democratic Chairman and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has been married for over 30 years to a Federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for that state.

And of course Ginni responded to criticism of a clear and existing conflict of interest by simply saying “we have our separate professional lives.”

Various legal minds all seem to agree that spouses sharing complimentary career paths do not necessarily suggest anything unethical or illegal. And as a supporter of a woman’s rights to fulfill her life’s ambition, I would agree that Ginni should be an independent person apart from her husband and be able to voice her political leanings, no matter how ridiculous they are.

But c’mon son, the fact that Ginni will work to do everything she can publicly to further conservatism while Clarence continues to do everything he can in the Judicial Branch to further conservatism, tells me that there is nothing remotely independent about this twisted union.

According to a L.A. Times article, in 2000, while employed at the Heritage Foundation, Ginni assisted with the recruiting of staff for a possible George W. Bush administration during the time when her husband was hearing the case that would decide the election.

Moreover, there is the little issue about two large anonymous donations, which Liberty Central received in November 2009, totaling $550,000.  How a start-up organization, no matter how right-leaning the group, was able to raise that much money in the first few weeks of operation is beside the point.  But let’s not pretend that those who anonymously donated didn’t see value in contributing to an organization, where the chief officer is the wife of a Supreme Court judge.

Ginni declined to comment to the allegations in a New York Times piece, which too raised the question of possible conflict of interest between Liberty Central and the Supreme Court. However, a group director told a newspaper that Liberty Central has already been approved by the Supreme Court’s ethics office, and that the court will deal with any conflicts “on a case-by-case basis.”

Right, and with that, the respect level for the Supreme Court just fell a few dozen rungs.  Clarence Thomas should not only recuse himself from the bench but also recuse himself from anything dealing with America.

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