Jonathan Turley is joking, right?
Celebrity law professor Jonathan Turley writes in The Hill
The marketing of “RBG” moves justices closer to the status of reality television stars. It follows earlier programs, like the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” episode showing the host working out with the justice. In “RBG,” director Betsy West portrayed Ginsburg as nothing short of a global phenomenon, declaring that the movie would show how Ginsburg “changed the world.” Entertainment Weekly declared, “Forget movie stars. The hottest celebrity at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend was Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” That is precisely the problem. When justices become our new celebrities, the separation of law and politics is eroded as justices seek to maintain their popular iconic positions with their respective bases. In other words, celebrity justices can become celebrity justice.
Turley makes a case that sounds reasonable until he adds
This trend is no better for journalism than it is for the law. CNN never did a program on the “hero” Scalia when he was alive, with weeks of adoring promos. Likewise, just as Ginsburg is the second woman on the Supreme Court, Thomas is the second African American. His story is one of the most inspirational in American history, of a man born in Georgia, speaking Gullah, a Creole dialect, in a shack with dirt floors and no plumbing. He grew up without his father, who left him at age two. He used his Catholic education to overcome segregation and prejudice to eventually go to Holy Cross, and then gained admission to Yale, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania law schools. He is unlikely to be declared a “hero” by CNN because the network does not agree with his judicial philosophy.
Unfortunately, Clarence Thomas could be a poster child for corruption, the judicial equivalent of Donald Trump. In February 2017, the Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff revealed
In an email sent to a conservative listserv on Feb. 13 and obtained by The Daily Beast, Ginni Thomas asked an interesting question: How could she organize activists to push for Trump’s policies?
“What is the best way to, with minimal costs, set up a daily text capacity for a ground up-grassroots army for pro-Trump daily action items to push back against the left’s resistance efforts who are trying to make America ungovernable?” she wrote.
“I see the left has Daily Action @YourDailyAction and their Facebook likes are up to 61K,” she continued.
She then linked to a Washington Post story about the group.
“But there are some grassroots activists, who seem beyond the Republican party or the conservative movement, who wish to join the fray on social media for Trump and link shields and build momentum,” she wrote. “I met with a house load of them yesterday and we want a daily textable tool to start… Suggestions?”
Neither Ginni nor Clarence Thomas returned requests for comment.
Justice Thomas recused himself when the travel ban came up before the court.
Just kidding, of course. You may recall reading in late June of this year
The Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, delivering to the president on Tuesday a political victory and an endorsement of his power to control immigration at a time of political upheaval about the treatment of migrants at the Mexican border.
In a 5-to-4 vote, the court’s conservatives said that the president’s power to secure the country’s borders, delegated by Congress over decades of immigration lawmaking, was not undermined by Mr. Trump’s history of incendiary statements about the dangers he said Muslims pose to the United States.
This wasn't the first rodeo for Thomas & Thomas. In June 2012 the US Supreme Court, with Justice Thomas in the minority, voted to uphold the Affordable Care Act (giving a critical boost to the re-election campaign of President Obama) but by 5-4 (with Thomas in the majority) struck down the ACA's Medicaid provision. A few days later US News & World Report found
...new financial forms show that Thomas's wife, Ginni, continued to rake in a profit from opposing healthcare reforms in 2011—even after she previously came under fire for doing so.
According to Thomas's 2011 financial disclosure report form, filed on May 15 and obtained Friday by Whispers, the Thomas’s invested up to $15,000 in the political lobbying firm Liberty Consulting, where Ginni Thomas continues to earn a salary and benefits. The firm lobbied actively against the healthcare law, according to liberal news magazine Mother Jones.
Ginni formed Liberty Consulting after she was criticized for her work at Liberty Central, a non-profit tea party organization that also lobbied against the health care law.
In March of this year, Liberty Central was the subject of a letter sent to the IRS by Common Cause, a nonprofit that works for government accountability. The letter argued that Liberty Central violated the proportionality rule for non-profits because the majority of its activities were designed to help Republican candidates.
Ginni later stepped down from Liberty Central, but her involvement in conservative politics extends beyond these two groups. Among Ginni's former employers is the Heritage Foundation, another vocal critic of the healthcare law. She also currently works as a “special correspondent” for the conservative website The Daily Caller.
In January 2011, Justice Thomas "inadvertently" left out information about his wife's employment, including earnings over the past 13 years that added up to as much as $1.6 milion.
Clarence Thomas was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate for a seat on the United States Supreme Court after lying repeatedly under oath about sexual harassment allegations.
Thomas committed perjury again and again to get put onto the Court and has since allied himself closely with the ideological interests of his wife as a lobbyist. Still, Jonathan Turley believes he should be treated as a celebrity because of his extraordinary accomplishments as a descendant of slaves.
The under-qualified Clarence Thomas testified before Judiciary that as a law student he had never discussed with anyone Roe v. Wade (!). He was nominated by George HW Bush for the Supreme Court precisely because he is black. Then confronted with the truth about his past, he attacked his accusers- who have since been vindicated- as committing "a high-tech lynching of an uppity Negro."
That remains a classic, and one of the most reprehensible, invocations of the race card, a remarkable case of deceit and arrogance. If only Jonathan Turley were joking.
HAPPY LABOR DAY