Many believe that those who control the wealth and/or power in this country are pretty much above the law. That is at least compared to us slobs in the trenches. A case in point is Clarence Thomas who broke federal laws and will get away with it because of the power he holds. It seems the Supreme Court justice was “unaware” that he needed to report his wife’s $700,000 stipend from a radical right lobbying group on his annual disclosure forms for the past several years! Here is an excerpt from that article (the source can be found via the link at the bottom of this post):
The criminal-law scholar George Fletcher once quipped that the maxim “ignorance of the law is no excuse” is one of the few fundamental principles of law that most people actually know. As harsh as this principle may sometimes be when applied to ordinary citizens, applying it to justices of the Supreme Court seems only reasonable.
Thus it’s difficult to feel sympathy for Clarence Thomas, as he finds himself embroiled in a controversy over his failure to reveal the sources of his wife’s non-investment income (or indeed that she even had any such income).
The article goes on to explain why Mr. Thomas will get away with this “misunderstanding” as he calls it. I’m pretty sure Mr. Thomas really feels that way but this is the same law that got Bill Clinton disbarred for lying about sex, and Martha Stewart jailed for lying about some investments. So here sets a Supreme Court justice whose wife is casually making more in a year than most of us people with real jobs do in a ten! Mr. Thomas finally admits that she does some “consulting” for groups who regularly appear before that very court her husband sit on. Most reasonable people would call this a conflict of interest but apparently Judge Thomas feels otherwise. I guess being “reasonable” is not one of the qualifications for the Supreme court.
So, now beside being known as the Supreme Court justice who “sits on his hands” more than any of his predecessors in the court’s 200+ year old history, he now will also be known as the one who obviously deems himself above the law! If so many others have been prosecuted because of ignorance of the law why can’t a Supreme Court justice?? If anyone should NOT be ignorant of the law it would be him. Maybe we should have listened to Anita Hill after all..
But what do I know…