The mounting scandals surrounding Clarence Thomas show the danger of lifetime appointments without ethical standards.

by Sonali Kolhatkar, OtherWords

A pair of new investigative reports about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are a testament to the need for better guard rails against moneyed influence.

The first bombshell story from ProPublica highlighted how a billionaire named Harlan Crow befriended Thomas after he became a Supreme Court justice and treated him (and often his wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas) to luxurious vacations almost every year. Thomas didn’t disclose those trips.

Clarence Thomas talks to someone in his robes

ProPublica followed that up with another story that Crow had actually purchased property from Thomas. Thomas didn’t disclose this either. Stranger still, Thomas’s mother has continued living there while the billionaire has been making expensive renovations.

Thomas broke the law by failing to disclose his financial transactions with Crow. Every American should read the ProPublica reports on how one of the nine Supreme Court justices, whose jurisdiction covers the entire nation, appears to be in the pocket of a billionaire.

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