(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) A recent report on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas claimed he violated ethics rules by accepting lavish gifts, drawing the ire of conservative legal experts who appropriately dubbed it a “big, breathless nothingburger.”
The report, compiled by ProPublica, condemned Thomas for not disclosing several vacations paid for by real estate developer Harlan Crow, a personal friend of the Justice.
Thomas “sought guidance” from colleagues about the trips, who in turn told him the vacations were not reportable, according to the Daily Caller.
Conservative legal experts slammed Democrats’ attempt to smear the Justice—who clashes with left-wing ideologues on a regular basis—as a partisan hit job attempting to push Thomas out of his seat on the highest court.
“The new ethics rules that would require disclosure of some of these gifts didn’t go into effect until last month (March 2023) and the previous rules excluded personal gifts of all kinds—anything other than a third-party paying for commercial travel/hotel,” said Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow and director of Constitutional Studies at the Manhattan Institute.
Shapiro noted that the transportation on these trips was “not reportable,” as they still counted as personal hospitality.
Democrats called for Thomas’s resignation, an investigation into his actions and an overhaul of the entire court, despite the incorrect aspects of the report.
“It’s all political grandstanding and continued left-wing frustration at their loss of control over the Court,” Shapiro told the DCNF. “The ProPublica report is a big breathless nothingburger.”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, defended Thomas as well, decrying the report as a “partisan attack.”
“The recent disgusting attempt to discredit Justice Clarence Thomas is yet another inexcusable and blatant partisan attack, designed only to mislead the public and smear an honorable man,” Lee wrote on Friday. “Justice Thomas is a brilliant jurist who has served the American people with distinction, tirelessly defending our Constitution. Justice Thomas’s accomplishments and legacy should be celebrated and cherished, not maliciously attacked.”