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In a column for MSNBC's Maddowblog, political analyst Steve Benen made the case that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' complaint last week about the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's draft Roe v Wade ruling said more about him than the sanctity of the court.
Reacting to the fallout from the leaked first draft ruling written by Alito, Thomas told attendees at a Dallas conference that the result of the leak would undermine the court, with the justice telling the crowd, "What happened at the court is tremendously bad. I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them.”
Noting that Thomas was speaking to a sympathetic crowd brought together by the American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institution and the Manhattan Institute, Benen pointed out that Thomas adopted a "us against them" framing to make his point to his fellow conservatives.
As the NY Times reported, Thomas stated, "You would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way. We didn’t throw temper tantrums. It is incumbent on us to always act appropriately, and not to repay tit for tat.”
According to Benen, "Part of the problem was Thomas’ use of words such as 'we and us,' and his willingness to publicly present himself to conservatives as a fellow ideologue. But just as notable is the degree to which the justice is wrong: A year after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, for any prominent political voice to insist the right doesn’t 'throw temper tantrums' is to suggest an alarming detachment from current events."
The analyst also noted that Thomas defended the GOP-dominated Senate's treatment of Merrick Garlan,d who never got a hearing under then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, with Benen claiming it is beyond the pale for the justice to come to the Republicans' rescue.
"It’s a problem that Thomas, an ostensibly neutral arbiter on the nation’s highest court, found it necessary to publicly defend Republicans’ tactics. That simply isn’t his job. If the justice is concerned about public respect for and confidence in the Supreme Court, rhetoric like this is exactly the sort of thing he should avoid," he wrote. "Last fall, Thomas insisted that justices aren’t 'politicians'... then why does he keep acting like one?"
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has become the face of the Republican Party's embrace of the racist, white supremacist, and white nationalist "Great Replacement Theory" after a white 18-year-old man drove 200 miles and allegedly slaughtered 10 Black people in Buffalo. Stefanik's Facebook ads and her rhetoric in recent months have been highlighted as contributing to advancing the baseless conspiracy theory, but rather than pull back and apologize the chairwoman of the House Republican Caucus is being accused of "doubling down" on her "terrorist rhetoric."
"Democrats desperately want wide open borders and mass amnesty for illegals allowing them to vote. Like the vast majority of Americans, Republicans want to secure our borders and protect election integrity," Stefanik tweeted Monday morning.
"There is nothing humane or compassionate about Joe Biden & Democrats wide open border and amnesty policies. It is Joe Biden’s Border Crisis. A tragic humanitarian crisis. A national security crisis. An economic crisis. And the American people know it," she also tweeted Monday.
Immediately before those tweets, Stefanik issued a press release attacking the media for "disgraceful, dishonest and dangerous ... smears" that accuse her of the very same "Great Replacement Theory" rhetoric she minutes later went on to invoke.
Noted economist David Rothschild, a frequent political commentator, calls Stefanik's tweets "terrorist rhetoric." He criticized her Monday morning, saying the New York Congresswoman "is doubling-down with numerous [tweets] this morning echoing the Buffalo's terrorist's manifesto with baseless, hateful rhetoric designed to encourage violence against minorities, immigrants, and Jews."
Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy Professor Don Moynihan agrees Stefanik is doubling down:
As does historian Kevin M. Kruse:
Some more responses to Stefanik's tweets from this morning:
SCOTUS rules Ted Cruz can now use donors to pay himself back for over $500K he loaned to his campaigns
Cruz's victory came after the Court ruled that a 2002 campaign finance law, which prohibits candidates from raising up to $250,000 after their campaigns to repay loans made during a federal political campaign, creates an unconstitutional burden on freedom of speech.
As HuffPost points out, the Court's ruling could create a new way for political candidates to finance their campaigns through personal loans that would be paid back later by donors. It could also be a way for politicians to profit from their campaigns by charging interest on loans later repaid by donors.
"But in the immediate term, the court’s decision will allow one candidate ― Cruz ― to raise money from rich donors and political action committees to repay the more than half-million dollars he loaned to his two Senate campaigns," writes HuffPost's Paul Blumenthal and Elise Foley.
Read the full report over at HuffPost.