As revealed by Al Sharpton last night, Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Anthony Scalia once again showed their dedication to bipartisanship by attending a fundraiser held by the Federalist Society. The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a conservative legal group whose focus is to redefine law by reinterpreting the Constitution.
Why is this relevant? Because the Supreme Court had just announced that it would hear a case concerning the constitutionality of Obamacare. Guess who was sitting between the two judges? … Paul Clement. Clement is the lead attorney arguing the case against Obamacare that the Supreme Court will be hearing!
Also, Uncle Thomas’ wife Virginia is a vocal lobbyist for conservative and tea party groups. Earlier, the Supreme Court decided (Citizens United vs. FEC ) that corporations are people, therefore allowing them to contribute unlimited funds to political campaigns in anonymity . Virginia was a prominent voice in the lobby for this outcome.
To me, this looks like a clear conflict of interest. Should the judges not have to recuse themselves from the case for merely the appearance of a conflict of interest? Do conflict of interest rules apply to everyone but the Supreme Court? After watching the story, I had only one question: What had I done to Al Sharpton, and why is he yelling at me?