Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Thomas Mitchell has a great column today breaking down the absurdity of allegations against Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas, particularly the demands by some that they recuse themselves retroactively from Citizens United. Some exerpts:
U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia are being accused of having a conflict of interest for, of all things, associating with known conservatives.
Thomas and Scalia have been criticized for speaking to like-minded conservative groups in general, and Thomas specifically for failing to report on his financial disclosure forms for five years the $680,000 the conservative Heritage Foundation paid his wife, Virginia.
According to a report by Politico’s Kenneth Vogel, “… liberal groups have called on the Justice Department to investigate whether the two justices’ alleged conflicts of interest should have disqualified them from voting in the 2010 decision on political spending, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission.”
Common Cause has written a letter to the attorney general asking that Thomas and Scalia be retroactively recused from Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission…
It turns out, unbeknownst to those outside of the Washington, D.C., television viewing area, Citizens United ran $100,000 worth of television ads in 1991 in D.C. supporting the Senate’s confirmation of one Clarence Thomas.
Ipso facto, Thomas should’ve recused himself from ruling in the Citizens United case because he had a conflict of interest, his critics contend. To support the presumption of bias, a group calling itself Protect Our Elections is citing the Caperton v. Massey Coal decision, in which the high court said a West Virginia judge should have recused himself in a case involving a coal company that had been supportive of his election…
Neither Thomas nor Scalia have a financial conflict in these matters. They will be neither richer nor poorer no matter how they rule. They merely have a system of core values with which liberals take umbrage.
There’s no word yet on whether Common Cause will demand that Justice Sotomayor recuse herself in the future from any rulings that the Alliance for Justice, People for the American Way, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights are involved in (these three groups ran ads supporting her nomination to the Supreme Court).
I highly recommend reading the whole column.