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Which Billionaires Are Not, Pinky Swear, NOT Buying Clarence Thomas This Week?
If you guessed the Koch brothers, come on down!
Oh boy, it’s time for this week’s edition of “The Clarence Thomas Corruption Follies.” What potential malfeasance might our favorite Supreme Court justice have committed in the process of whoring himself out to every rich guy happy to buy him a fancy vacation or a luxury motorhome?
Flew on a private jet to spend a few days hanging out with rich donors at the Koch brothers’ annual winter donor retreat at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Palm Springs, you say? And didn’t report it on his disclosure forms for that year, 2018, though he somehow managed to remember to disclose other speaking engagements for which he was provided transportation, food and lodging?
And, just for shits and giggles, this is at least the second time Wonkette has written about Thomas getting in trouble for attending this event. The first time was 12 years ago when the New York Times yelled at him about attending the 2008 summit. Which is how we know he knows he was supposed to disclose this exact same trip on his financial disclosure forms, since he remembered to do it that time.
What does everyone think is more likely at this point, that Clarence Thomas is corrupt at a level that makes Bob Menendez look like Ned Flanders, or that Clarence Thomas is ditzy at a level that even Gracie Allen couldn’t sell?
Thomas’ involvement in the events is part of a yearslong, personal relationship with the Koch brothers that has remained almost entirely out of public view. It developed over years of trips to the Bohemian Grove, a secretive all-men’s retreat in Northern California. Thomas has been a regular at the Grove for two decades, where he stayed in a small camp with real estate billionaire Harlan Crow and the Kochs, according to records and people who’ve spent time with him there.
Don’t worry, though, it’s not as if the billionaire Kochs ever have business that comes before the Supreme Court, so there is no chance for even a sliver of a hint of a chance of possible impropriety here:
In a case the Supreme Court will hear this coming term, the justices could give the network a historic victory: limiting federal agencies’ power to issue regulations in areas ranging from the environment to labor rights to consumer protection. After shepherding the case to the court, Koch network staff attorneys are now asking the justices to overturn a decades-old precedent.
That precedent is the Chevron doctrine, from a 1984 case establishing that executive agencies have great latitude to write rules necessary to implement laws passed by Congress when the details of those laws are vague, and that courts should generally defer to those agencies and not second-guess them. Otherwise, something like the Environmental Protection Agency could not enforce the Clean Air Act unless Congress specifically told it all the regulations it can use to do so.
You’ll never guess which Supreme Court justice used to support the Chevron doctrine to the point of writing an opinion upholding it in 2005, and now after a couple of decades of getting treated to cigars and handies from comely maidens with the libertarian Koch brothers at Bohemian Grove and in luxury Palm Springs resorts, has changed his mind.
Oh wait, you probably will:
Then in 2020, Thomas renounced his own earlier decision, writing that he’d determined the doctrine is unconstitutional after all — a rare reversal for a justice with a reputation for being unmovable in his views. […]
Several months later, the Supreme Court announced it would take up a case, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, in which Koch network staff attorneys represent the plaintiffs. If Thomas and his colleagues side with them this coming term, Chevron will be overturned once and for all.
It’s funny because ever since ProPublica started breaking these Thomas stories a few months back, conservatives have gone out of their way to insist that the justice is an unimpeachably principled man and anyone who knows him knows that he would not be swayed from his beliefs by something so piddling as an all-expenses-paid trip around the South Pacific on a private yacht or private-school tuition for the nephew he was raising as his own son or any of that stuff.
So yes, we guess there could be principled reasons why Thomas, a conservative’s conservative who hasn’t seemed to change his views on just about anything during 30 years on the bench, has suddenly reversed himself – HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA GASP WHEEZE CATCH BREATH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.
Anyway, just remember that when the Supreme Court’s conservatives consign the Chevron doctrine to the same scrap heap where they recently tossed Roe v. Wade and the Voting Rights Act, among others, that they would have done so even without the comically thirsty attempts all these billionaires made to buy them off and how dare the liberal media suggest otherwise. Then hit yourself in the head with the same shovel Clarence Thomas long ago used to bury his alleged principles.
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