Retroactive Recusal to Overturn a Supreme Court Decision
I have no idea whether this is a real possibility or just a far-flung theory that’ll never see the light of day. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D—New York) has suggested that a retroactive recusal of Justice Clarence Thomas could lead to the overturning of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
Supreme Court justices are entitled to their opinion that anonymous multi-million-dollar bribes are just hunky dory. But this opinion can NOT be based on any conflict of interest. That quaint old phrase again is “conflict of interest.”
Clarence Thomas’ wife may have benefited financially from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, and this fact was never disclosed.
Clarence Thomas has indicated on financial disclosure forms that his wife received no income since Thomas became a Supreme Court justice in 1991. Well, except that she did. She “earned” $700,000 from the Heritage Foundation between 2003 and 2007. Sounds like a conflict of interest to me, if not perjury.
Louise Slaughter said:
“What I’m very interested here is the votes that he has cast that may be in conflict. Of course, his wife can work. But the fact is there are only nine justice on that Supreme Court and it certainly should be a given that a family member of any of those people lucky enough to be a Supreme Court justice should not in any way involve themselves in matters that will go before that court. Now, we all know that she worked very hard for the Citizens United case, which I think is one of the most egregious things that have ever happened in the United States Supreme Court. There is such a thing as a retroactive recusal. We’re looking into that. That case, if you remember, was decided 5-4. If we could take away his vote, we could wipe that out. It would lose…you know, the judiciary is the last place for all of us to go. We’re only as good — all of us — as the courts are, only as safe as the courts are good. Their interpretations are really what give us the freedoms when you come down to it. They have enormous power.”
All right. Let’s hear it for retroactive recusal.