Virginia Thomas has proudly lent her name to the anti-patriotic, anti-American, anti-progressive Tea Party movement.
As Virginia Thomas tells it in her soft-spoken, Midwestern cadence, the story of her involvement in the “tea party” movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.
“I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you,” she said at a recent panel discussion with tea party leaders in Washington. Thomas went on to count herself among those energized into action by President Obama’s “hard-left agenda.”
But Thomas is no ordinary activist.
She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.
In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative “core principles,” she said.
The group plans to issue score cards for Congress members and be involved in the November election, although Thomas would not specify how. She said it would accept donations from various sources — including corporations — as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court.
I cannot recall a similar public declaration of intent from the spouse of any Supreme Court Justice in our nation’s history. Can you? The equivalent would be if the wife of Justice Thurgood Marshall joined the John Birchers, or William Rehnquist’s wife started a local chapter of Sandinista National Liberation Front, or Justice John Marshall’s wife decided to hold a Friends of French Liberty soirée in her salon. None of these other things happened, but rules are always different for Rovian Republicans, aren’t they?
Under judicial rules, judges must curb political activity, but a spouse is free to engage.
Really, this could be grounds for impeachment – Clarence Thomas is no friend to liberty, no friend to America, no friend to the Constitution if you want to get down to it. Justice Thomas has often skirted close to the edge of impropriety, and doesn’t believe in the concept of conflict of interest, or recusal. Recusal wasn’t mentioned in the 4,543 words1 comprising the Constitution of the United States after all, so why would a strict constitutionalist like Justice Thomas believe in it?
Virginia Thomas has long been a passionate voice for conservative views. She has worked for former Republican Rep. Dick Armey of Texas and for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank with strong ties to the GOP.
In 2000, while at the Heritage Foundation, she was recruiting staff for a possible George W. Bush administration as her husband was hearing the case that would decide the election. When journalists reported her work, Thomas said she saw no conflict of interest and that she rarely discussed court matters with her husband.
and of course, the rules of political engagement have recently changed:
As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Liberty Central can raise unlimited amounts of corporate money and largely avoid disclosing its donors.
Because of a recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, the group may also spend corporate money freely to advocate for or against candidates for office.
Justice Thomas was part of the 5-4 majority in that case.
- including signatures, which is a stupid way to count, if you ask me [↩]