A CNN panel on Friday discussed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's apparent conflict of interest due to his wife engaging in activism against the January 6 Select Committee at the same time he was the sole justice voting to block transfer of documents to the committee.
CNN's Pamela Brown discussed the situation with University of Texas Law Professor Steve Vladeck, who outlined the clear risk of the situation.
"There are surely substantive reasons, consistent with his jurisprudence, why Justice Thomas dissented from the Court's decision to not help President Trump in that case," said Vladeck. "But for folks who are already skeptical of the Court, for folks who already view it as a deeply partisan, political institution, the fact that he is the sole dissenter, given what we know about Ginni Thomas's involvement, sets off alarm bells."
Nor, noted Brown, is this the only matter on which Thomas's wife has a potential interest in matters before the Court.
"The debate has continued because of Ginni Thomas's ties to another issue before the court she sits on the advisory board of a conservative group, the National Association of Scholars," said Brown. "They submitted two legal briefs to the Supreme Court in favor of plaintiffs challenging affirmative action and admissions at two universities. Peter Wood is president of the organization, and said that she played no role in the legal briefs."
"Ginni Thomas's activism stands in contrast to the spouses of other justices," noted Brown. "Chief Justice John Roberts' wife Jane retired from practicing law and resigned from a leadership role with an anti-abortion group. When late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became a circuit court judge, her husband left his law firm."
Pamela Brown on Clarence Thomas' apparent conflicts of interest www.youtube.com