US Appeals Court Judge Rejects ProPublica Story On Justice Clarence Thomas

April 16, 2023   |   Tags:
US Appeals Court Judge Rejects ProPublica Story On Justice Clarence Thomas

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Two appeals court judges recently weighed in on reporting around Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and that he and his wife were gifted with trips and vacations from a billionaire friend for decades.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas sits during a group photograph of the justices at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021. (Erin Schaff/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Judge Thomas Hardiman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit dismissed the notion of a “scandal” surrounding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Last week, left-wing outlet ProPublica published an article in which “experts,” some unnamed, argue Justice Thomas violated disclosure obligations by neglecting to report luxury gifts he received from billionaire friend Harlan Crow.

“The thing that I thought was weird about the Justice Thomas thing is the ‘scandal,’ to use your word, there was no intimation at any time, ever, that his billionaire friend ever had any business before the Supreme Court. So, how’s he helping his friend? He’s not even in a position to help his friend because his friend had exactly zero cases in the Supreme Court,” Judge Hardiman said in response to a question asked by an undergraduate during this week’s event, according to the National Review.

He was making reference to a ProPublica article published earlier this month that cited several unnamed experts who claimed that Thomas violated disclosure obligations by not reporting luxury gifts he received from billionaire Harlan Crow, a friend of his. The move prompted some Democratic lawmakers—namely Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—to propose impeaching Thomas.

“You know, I decide cases involving lawyers in Pittsburgh. And I know these lawyers, some of them are former law partners of mine. I belong to organizations with them, I go to lunch with them. Should I not hear their cases? If you have such suspicion about our integrity, you could really end up in a situation where judges can’t even do their jobs because at some point you’re attached to everybody,” Hardiman continued.

If someone wanted to make me look bad and I happened to rule in favor of a client in an immigration case that was argued by my former law clerk, oh, there would be a big exposé, ‘oh, Hardiman chose partiality to his law clerk,’” Hardiman then said.

The judge then gave an example:  “I’ve had my former law clerks stand up in court and argue cases. And I don’t think they’ve ever won a case. And it’s not because they’re not brilliant lawyers. They are. But usually they’re doing pro bono immigration cases, and sadly, for the immigrants, those cases can be very difficult to win.”

Judge James Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said that there is a difference between “an actual instance of corruption” and “the mere perception” during remarks he made during the event. “I think the appearance issue is absolutely important” as “the judiciary basically rests on its credibility,” he said, according to the National Review.

Judge Thomas Hardiman, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is seen in Washington, on Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The judiciary, like any human institution, isn’t perfect, because none of us are perfect,” Ho added.

Earlier in the month, a report published by nonprofit news organization ProPublica, which receives some funding from billionaire financier George Soros, said that Thomas had accepted luxury trips almost every year over the past 20 years or so without disclosing them.

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Tyler Durden Sun, 04/16/2023 - 19:30