Tag Archives: Clarence Thomas

‘Unfathomably Cruel’: Billionaire-Backed Justices Rule in Favor of Criminalizing Homelessness

“Maybe the right-wing justices could empathize with the most vulnerable Americans if they spent less time jet-setting on luxury vacations on their wealthy benefactors’ dime,” said one critic.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Homeless encampment in Downtown Los Angeles over the freeway in 2021. Photo: Levi Clancy/Wikimedia Commons/CC

“SCOTUS just criminalized homelessness.”

So said numerous legal experts and advocates for the unhoused Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority ruled that local governments can enforce bans on sleeping outdoors, regardless of whether municipalities are able to offer them shelter space.

In a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, the justices ruled in City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson that officials can criminalize sleeping and camping on public property including parks, even when housing options are unavailable or unaffordable.

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Sotomayor: Ruling Against Foreign Spouses Will ‘Most Heavily’ Harm Same-Sex Couples

“The majority’s failure to respect the right to marriage in this country consigns U.S. citizens to rely on the fickle grace of other countries’ immigration laws.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-21-2024 by Common Dreams

United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaking to attendees at the John P. Frank Memorial Lecture at Gammage Auditorium at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. in 2017. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor warned Friday that her right-wing colleagues’ finding that American citizens have no right to have their foreign spouses admitted to the United States will disproportionately harm same-sex couples—and could foreshadow a future reversal of federal LGBTQ+ marriage equality.

The justices ruled 6-3 along ideological lines in Department of State v. Muñoz that Sandra Muñoz, a civil rights attorney and U.S. citizen, “does not have a fundamental liberty interest in her noncitizen spouse being admitted to the country.”

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‘Truly Evil’ Clarence Thomas Offers Defense of Guns for Domestic Abusers

“The Thomas dissent is only further proof that he is simply a threat to America,” said the father of a mass shooting victim.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-21-2024 by Common Dreams

Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Screenshot: Library of Congress

“Thank goodness. Also, Clarence Thomas is truly evil.”

That’s how one progressive pollster responded Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 8-1 ruling in United States v. Rahimi, which upheld a law prohibiting individuals subject to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a firearm.

Critics across the political spectrum called Thomas’ lone dissent in the case “insane” and blasted the right-wing justice as “fucking awful,” a “corrupt lunatic,” and a “contemptible POS” who “continues to undermine the safety of women and disgrace the court.”

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Lindsey Graham Blocks Democrats’ Attempt to Pass Supreme Court Ethics Bill

“Senate Republicans just showed how out of touch they are with what most Americans want—a Supreme Court free of corruption.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 5-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Senator Lindsey Graham speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2023 Annual Leadership Summit at the Venetian Convention & Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Senate Democrats to pass Supreme Court reform legislation by unanimous consent, thwarting efforts to establish a binding ethics code for the nation’s top court as two of its right-wing justices come under fire for taking billionaire-funded luxury vacations and flying flags associated with the January 6 insurrection.

The Democratic legislation—titled the the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act—advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee nearly a year ago without any GOP support. The bill would give the high court 180 days to adopt a binding code of ethics and establish new recusal requirements surrounding justices’ acceptance of gifts.

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‘Consumers Win’ as Supreme Court Rejects ‘Radical’ Attack on CFPB

Amid celebrations over the ruling, one legal expert warned, “Don’t confuse ‘SCOTUS slaps down a wackadoodle 5th Circuit decision’ with ‘SCOTUS is more moderate than its critics claim.'”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra. Screenshot: CNBC

Legal experts and progressive advocates on Thursday applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision to uphold the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding mechanism but also cautioned against praising the far-right justices.

While Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented, fellow right-winger Clarence Thomas penned the opinion in CFPB v. Consumer Financial Services Association of America, joined by the other three conservatives and three liberals—two of whom wrote concurring opinions.

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In ‘Toothless PR Stunt,’ Supreme Court Publishes Ethics Code With No Enforcement Mechanisms

“This unenforceable public relations document serves absolutely no purpose other than to permit the media to revert to pretending that our unaccountable and unethical Supreme Court retains legitimacy,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 11-13-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

In the wake of a series of high-profile scandals surrounding the relationship between right-wing justices and billionaires, the U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it had formally adopted a new Code of Conduct.

The 14-page code is based on requirements for lower court judges, and most of the rules it outlines are not new, the court said. Watchdog groups have been widely critical of the new document, which does not stipulate how the conduct it promotes will be enforced, with the Revolving Door Project labeling it a “toothless PR stunt.”

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‘Serious Ethics Issue’: Wealthy Friend Forgave Up to $267K of Luxury RV Loan for Clarence Thomas

The Senate Finance Committee chair said he “should inform the committee exactly how much debt was forgiven and whether he properly reported the loan forgiveness on his tax returns and paid all taxes owed.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 10-26-2023 by Common Dreams

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas . Screenshot: ABC News

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday released a report detailing how embattled Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas may have had a substantial amount of a loan for a luxury RV forgiven by a wealthy friend—which one watchdog called “a serious ethics issue.”

The panel’s probe was sparked by New York Times reporting from August about Anthony Welters loaning Thomas money to buy a used Prevost Le Mirage XL Marathon, or “the Rolls-Royce of motor coaches,” which cost $267,230 in 1999. Welters told the newspaper that “the loan was satisfied” and provided a photograph of the title with his signature and a handwritten “lien release” date of November 22, 2008.

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With Alito’s Billionaire Patron Holding $90 Million in Finance Firms, Watchdog Demands Recusal From CFPB Case

“Should Justice Alito preside over this case despite his clear conflicts of interest, it would add to the worsening Supreme Court corruption crisis and underscore the urgent need for ethics reform,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley. Published 9-18-2023 by Common Dreams

Samuel-Alito. Screenshot: Conversations with Bill Kristol

Anti-corruption watchdog Accountable.US on Monday said there is a clear need for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from an upcoming court case regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as a new analysis revealed the extent of one of his key associate’s financial interests in the case.

The group released new data showing that hedge fund manager Paul Singer holds at least $90 million in financial firms overseen by the CFPB, which was established in 2011 through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and has since provided $16 billion in financial relief to defrauded consumers and ordered companies to pay $3.7 billion in penalties.

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On Eve of July 4th, Bishop William Barber Unveils ‘Moral Declaration for America’

“It is time for people with a moral conscience to wield every ounce of influence and power they have towards justice and to force this nation to be true to what it said on paper.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 7-3-2023 by Common Dreams

Bishop William J. Barber II at the Democracy Awakening rally at U.S. Capitol on April 17, 2016. Photo: Becker1999/flickr/CC

Bishop William Barber, founding director of Yale’s Center for Public Theology and Public Policy, penned an open letter on Monday decrying recent decisions by far-right Supreme Court justices and the complicity of political leaders who have “watched our democracy being slowly chipped away.”

Addressed to President Joe Biden, Congress, and the U.S. public, Barber’s “Moral Declaration for America” was released on the eve of July 4, which marks 247 years since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

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‘Huge Win for Tribes’ as US Supreme Court Preserves Indian Child Welfare Act

“By ruling on the side of children’s health and safety, the U.S. Constitution, and centuries of precedent, the justices have landed on the right side of history,” said one Cherokee chief.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-15-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Native News Online

In what one chief called “a major victory” for Native American tribes, the United States Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a federal law enacted to protect Indian children from being separated from their families.

The justices’ 7-2 decision in Haaland v. Brackeen leaves intact the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a 1978 law passed in response to over a century of Native American children being taken from their relatives and often placed in state or religious institutions or with white families.

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