“We are long past the day when a wife’s opinions are supposed to be the same as her husband’s.”
It claimed law professor Stephen Gillers at New York University in 2013. If the professor’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s been quoted by apparently all major media since the news broke last week that Virginia Thomas, wife of Judge Clarence Thomas , sent a text message to Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urging him to fight for the 2020 election result.
The Los Angeles Times described Mr. Gillers as a “legal ethics researcher,” and the New York Times called him “one of the nation’s leading legal ethics experts.” But it turns out that the professor’s ethics, like many liberal Democrats’ these days, are situational. In 2013, he defended a decision by the late 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt not to waive a case involving the American Civil Liberties Union, even though Reinhart’s wife, Ramona Ripston, had served as ACLU’s executive director for Southern. California.
“Ms. Ripston’s statements, views, and public statements in support of the district court’s opinion… Gillers and four others. “An opposite result would consider a judge’s spouse unable to hold a defensive position, which would create the equivalent of a marriage sentence.”
Reinhardt had a well-deserved reputation as one of the most liberal judges at one of the most liberal appellate courts in the country. Which may explain why Mr. Gillers and his partisan allies have changed their tune. “‘Do not ask, do not tell’ is not an acceptable strategy for Thomas’s marriage,” he now tells reporters. “Both have crossed a line and deserve no doubt.”
For anyone who does not wear ideological blinders, Judge Thomas and his wife deserve the benefit of the doubt as much as Reinhardt and his wife. And there are other examples. Judge Cornelia Pillard of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is married to ACLU National Legal Director David Cole. Sixth District Judge Alice Batchelder’s husband served as chairman of the Ohio House of Representatives. Marjorie Rendell was an appeals judge when her husband, Ed, was governor of Pennsylvania and chairman of the National Democratic National Committee. When these judges had to withdraw from a case due to a conflict of interest, they were entrusted to do so.
Facts and fiction
Critics of Judge Thomas do not want to hold him to a higher standard than another standard. Major cases involving abortion, gun control, positive action and religious freedom are on the Supreme Court this year. The goal of the left wing is to reduce its influence – and by extension the influence of the conservative wing of the court. And since the goal is Judge Thomas, who has driven his ideological opponents to madness for the past 30 years, thought is all that is possible.
“The facts are clear here,” Senator Amy Klobuchar told ABC News Sunday. “You have a wife for a sitting Supreme Court justice who is advocating for a riot.” No, those are not facts unless the senator knows something the rest of us do not know. Nothing has been made public that Mrs. Thomas called for violence or had anything to do with the ravages of Trump supporters on the Capitol. Putting it in the same basket as those who did it is slander. All we know is that she urged Mr. Meadows to “stand firm” in the face of what she thought was an election “theft.” If a case comes before the court involving Mrs. Thomas or her activities, Judge Thomas may make a decision on the denial at that time.
Perhaps more troubling was the fact that Ms. Klobuchar, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared to be threatening Chief Justice John Roberts to follow orders from other Democrats in Congress. “All I hear is silence from the Supreme Court right now, and that should change in the coming week,” she said. “It should not only [Justice Thomas] resign itself, but this Supreme Court badly needs ethical rules.
The state judge has made no secret of his deep concern about the court’s reputation. One way to damage that reputation would be to turn to politics and the passions of the day, as people like Mrs Klobuchar suggest.
Clarence Thomas is the highest court member and has been consistent in his case law for decades. We trust judges to behave with professionalism and integrity when it comes to revocation decisions, and Judge Thomas has earned our trust.