Sondheim was of course dealing with a more genteel era. Prominent wives are quite different these days these days. Take Mrs. Clarence Thomas — PLEASE!
“As Virginia Thomas tells it in her soft-spoken, Midwestern cadence, the story of her involvement in the “tea party” movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.”
In an average interracial marriage
Actually below average, IMO.
“I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you,” she said at a recent panel discussion with tea party leaders in Washington. Thomas went on to count herself among those energized into action by President Obama’s “hard-left agenda.”
But Thomas is no ordinary activist.
“Virginia Thomas received her law degree in 1983 from Creighton University School of Law and served on its Law Advisory Board from 2006 to 2007.Thomas had worked as an attorney in Omaha, Nebraska. She first gained federal political experience as a congressional aide and later worked as an attorney and labor relations specialist for the United States Chamber of Commerce in 1988. While at the Chamber of Commerce, Thomas helped to lobby against the Family and Medical Leave Act, arguing that it intruded into the private sector. In 1989, she served as manager of employee relations at the Chamber of Commerce. In 1991, Thomas was employed by the United States Department of Labor, and worked in the legislative affairs office. While at the Department of Labor, Thomas argued against comparable-worth legislation which would have mandated equal pay for men and women in the workplace.
Virginia Thomas was with her husband during his Senate confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court of the United States, and stood by his side when he officially thanked all his supporters after being confirmed 52 to 48 to succeed Justice Thurgood Marshall. During the confirmation hearings, some Democratic senators had complained about Virginia Thomas’ work and brought up claims of conflict of interest. She later was interviewed by People Magazine, where she described the difficult process her husband had faced while under the scrutiny of the Senate confirmation hearings. She referred to the confirmation process as a “trial by fire” for her husband.”
“She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.”
Cha cha cha.
“In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative “core principles,” she said.”
And she’s had such good advice in creating it!
“In 1994, Thomas worked for Representative Dick Armey, as a policy analyst. Conflict of interest issues were also raised in 2000, when Thomas worked for the Heritage Foundation, collecting résumés for potential presidential appointments in the George W. Bush Administration. Thomas later served as White House liaison to the Heritage Foundation.”
And most recently he’s created the “Tea Parties”
“The group plans to issue score cards for Congress members and be involved in the November election, although Thomas would not specify how. She said it would accept donations from various sources — including corporations — as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court.”
A widely criticized decision. Chief Justice Roberts is still bitching about President Obama’s dissing.
Yes, Roberts was surrounded — just like General Custer.
“I adore all the new citizen patriots who are rising up across this country,” Thomas, who goes by Ginni, said on the panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I have felt called to the front lines with you, with my fellow citizens, to preserve what made America great.”
It’s the old song and dance, folks.
“The move by Virginia Thomas, 52, into the front lines of politics stands in marked contrast to the rarefied culture of the nation’s highest court, which normally prizes the appearance of nonpartisanship and a distance from the fisticuffs of the politics of the day.”
As exemplified by Andrew Breitbatshitcrazy
“Justice Thomas, 61, recently expressed sensitivity to such concerns, telling law students in Florida that he doesn’t attend the State of the Union because it is “so partisan.” Thomas, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush, has been a reliable conservative vote since he joined the court in 1991.”
“Experts say Virginia Thomas’ work doesn’t violate ethical rules for judges. But Liberty Central could give rise to conflicts of interest for her husband, they said, as it tests the norms for judicial spouses. The couple have been married since 1987.”
(Note: The first Mrs. — Kate Ambush Thomas — was married to Justice Thomas from 1971 to 1984
when they were divorced. She is, as you might expect, black.)
“I think the American public expects the justices to be out of politics,” said University of Texas law school professor Lucas A. “Scot” Powe, a court historian.
He said the expectations for spouses are far less clear. “I really don’t know because we’ve never seen it,” Powe said.
Under judicial rules, judges must curb political activity, but a spouse is free to engage.
“We expect the justice to make decisions uninfluenced by the political or legal preferences of his or her spouse,” said New York University law professor Stephen Gillers, an expert on legal ethics.
What you “expect” and what you actually get are of course two very different things.
Virginia Thomas declined to comment in detail about her plans for LibertyCentral.org, which she said would fully launch in May. In a brief phone interview, she did not directly answer questions about whether she and her husband had discussed the effects her role might have on perceptions of his impartiality.
“I don’t involve myself in litigation. Are you asking that because there’s a different standard for conservatives? Did you ask Ed Rendell that question?” she said, referring to the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, who is married to a federal appellate court judge.
WOO — GIRLFIGHT!
But watch your back, Ginni, she’s obviously a communist!
“Virginia Thomas has long been a passionate voice for conservative views. She has worked for former Republican Rep. Dick Armey of Texas and for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank with strong ties to the GOP.”
We all know what Dick Armey thinks
In 2000, while at the Heritage Foundation, she was recruiting staff for a possible George W. Bush administration as her husband was hearing the case that would decide the election. When journalists reported her work, Thomas said she saw no conflict of interest and that she rarely discussed court matters with her husband.
“We have our separate professional lives,” she said at the time.
Sure. Just like Mrs. and Mrs. Howie Kurtz. She makes Arnold Governor of California and he simply talks about him.
“In fall 2008, when Thomas joined Hillsdale College as an administrator, she called the school’s Washington campus “the safest place for me to be when it comes to conflicts.” Her new endeavor could signal a return from that shelter.”
“Although Liberty Central is a nonpartisan group, its website shows an affinity for conservative principles. Her biography notes that Thomas is a fan of Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, author of “Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America.”
“She is intrigued by Glenn Beck and listening carefully,” the bio says.”
So are we
“As in her appearance at the panel discussion, the website does not mention Clarence Thomas.”
He’s what Roland Barthes would call “a structuring absence of the text.”
“The judicial code of conduct does require judges to separate themselves from their spouses’ political activity. As a result, Marjorie Rendell, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has stayed away from political events, campaign rallies and debates in Pennsylvania. Her husband discussed such issues in his first campaign for governor.
Since then, Judge Rendell has sought the opinion of the judiciary’s Committee on Codes of Conduct when a case presents a possible conflict of interest involving her husband’s political office, she said.”
There! Does that satisfy you?
I’ll wager it doesn’t.
“Law professor Gillers said that Justice Thomas, too, should be on alert for possible conflicts, particularly those involving donors to his wife’s nonprofit.
“There is opportunity for mischief if a company with a case before the court, or which it wants the court to accept, makes a substantial contribution to Liberty Central in the interim,” he said.
Justice Thomas would be required to be aware of such contributions, Gillers said, adding that he believes Thomas should then disclose those facts and allow parties in the case to argue for recusal.
But it would be up to Justice Thomas to decide whether to recuse himself. He could not be reached for comment.”
See? It’s up to the fox to guard the henhouse.
As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Liberty Central can raise unlimited amounts of corporate money and largely avoid disclosing its donors.
Because of a recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, the group may also spend corporate money freely to advocate for or against candidates for office.
Justice Thomas was part of the 5-4 majority in that case.
And as the ongoing Obama-Roberts set-to shows, we shall hear more of this masquerade.
Meanwhile Mrs. Thomas, Lee Wiley will sing us out with a song by Will Marion Cook.