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SCOTUS ethics, lack thereof, and associated controversy

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  • SCOTUS ethics, lack thereof, and associated controversy

    Peter Welch had something to say about it.

    Originally posted by Forbes
    Monday, 17 June 2024
    'Really Shocking': Dem Senator Amazed By Free Trips And Gifts Given To Supreme Court Justices
    (05 min, 34 sec)

    In remarks on the Senate floor last week, Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) spoke about Supreme Court ethics reforms.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by JRT View Post
    Peter Welch had something to say about it.
    These Justices, or should I say most of them, couldn't come close to comparing to me. I have been in practice for almost 43 years now and during that time have turned down every freebie, whatever it may be, that was offered to me by a sales rep. In fact I have only gone out to lunch with one sales rep. Knew him for 30 years since Day 1 and he called me to say he was retiring and wanted the two of us to go to lunch. He knew my stance, and never tried to offer me anything until he was fully out of the field. Part of it was that he was also highly ethical and for that reason when he changed companies, and asked if I would open an account, I didn't hesitate.

    Do these Justices really think they are being asked to go along on these expensive trips out of the goodness of the person's heart? Hell, no. When money like that is involved the donor is either expecting something in return or setting the table for something in the future. As the Godfather says...

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    • #3
      You're a better man than me. I've attended July 1 and July 4 BBQs as well as countless home dinners (being hosted as well as hosting) and a few fishing trips (travel on me but fish was caught and the beer was on them). Did not want the paper work for $50 worth of booze.
      Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 18 Jun 24,, 04:36.
      Chimo

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      • #4
        I was Army Acquisition for 35 years. Our rules were simple...no more than $25 value for a gift. To be clean I wouldn't let a vendor buy as much as a beer for me. Coffee service laid out? I threw down a buck a cup. Free lunch at a conference? I brown bagged. Not really a hardship. All judges, and especially SCOTUS, need to be cleaner than Caesar's wife. That is not a buzzword. Justice Thomas he didn't make enough to live in DC. Really? My best friend is a stage actor living IN DC for 30 years. Some years were hand to mouth. Thomas needs check his life style. When your lifestyle exceeds your income its time to adjust something. As a judge it is NOT questionable outside income.
        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
        Mark Twain

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        • #5
          Clarence Thomas Took Free Yacht Trip to Russia, Chopper Flight to Putin’s Hometown: Dems
          The allegedly secret gifts were disclosed in a letter from two Democratic senators that accused Thomas of potentially committing tax fraud.

          Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been accused of not disclosing a yacht trip to Russia and a private helicopter flight to a palace in President Vladimir Putin’s hometown, among a slew of other gifts and loans from businessman Harlan Crow.

          Buried on page 14 of a letter that two Democratic senators sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday, in which they urged Garland to appoint a special counsel to probe Thomas, was an astonishing list of dozens of “likely undisclosed gifts and income” from Crow, Crow’s affiliated companies, and “other donors.”

          In the letter, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) said Thomas, one of the court’s staunchly conservative justices, even may have committed tax fraud and violated other federal laws by “secretly” accepting the gifts and income potentially worth millions.

          “The Senate is not a prosecutorial body, and the Supreme Court has no fact-finding function of its own, making the executive role all the more important if there is ever to be any complete determination of the facts,” reads the letter requesting the appointment of a special prosecutor.

          “We do not make this request lightly,” said the letter.

          The list of potentially secret gifts also includes a loan of more than $267,000 provided by Thomas’ close friend Anthony Welters, the yacht trip to Russia from the Baltics, and the helicopter ride to Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg. ProPublica first reported last year on the existence of extensive undisclosed gifts and lavish trips from Crow.






          Additionally, Justice Thomas is accused of not disclosing tuitions for his grandnephew, free lodging, real estate transactions, and home renovations. The action escalates Democratic senators’ efforts to hold Thomas accountable for perceived ethics controversies.

          According to the senators, Thomas’ conduct could violate the Ethics in Government Act, which requires officials like Supreme Court justices to file annual reports disclosing gifts and income accepted from outside sources.

          “It is a crime,” reads the report, “To knowingly and willfully fail to file or report such information.”

          Since 2023, two Senate committees have been looking into the 1991 loan from Welters that was connected to Thomas’ purchase of a luxury motor home. Welters previously responded to a New York Times request for comment on the loan only to say that it was “satisfied.”

          Thomas, for his part, belatedly disclosed some—but not all—gifts from Crow this year and has defended the gifts as “personal hospitality” from some of his and his wife’s “dearest friends.”

          “The evidence assembled thus far plainly suggests that Justice Thomas has committed numerous willful violations of federal ethics and false-statement laws and raises significant questions about whether he and his wealthy benefactors have,” Durban and Wyden wrote.
          ________

          Just. Never. Ends.
          “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

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          • #6
            Bought & Sold
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

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