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6 Jan 2020 U.S. Events (Split from A Deeply Fractured US)

Brad Sallows

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The issue is less the medical situation, and more the fact that, on a number of different subjects, his wife’s conflicting interests mean that he is egregiously compromised and would be expected to recuse himself from deliberations.

No. Just flip the script, and imagine the justice is a black woman with a white husband who has some flaky views. Democrats would lose their nut if anyone suggested the woman's career and decisions should depend on what the man thinks.
 

Remius

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No. Just flip the script, and imagine the justice is a black woman with a white husband who has some flaky views. Democrats would lose their nut if anyone suggested the woman's career and decisions should depend on what the man thinks.
Looking into this, it would seem she has not violated any rules or codes.

But were it not for her influential husband she would be a nobody. She exerts influence by virtue of her relationship and it seems she’s used that for a good many years to advance her causes.

But in US politics etc the spouse seems to be part of that process. When you elect someone you elect a couple in most cases.
 

brihard

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No. Just flip the script, and imagine the justice is a black woman with a white husband who has some flaky views. Democrats would lose their nut if anyone suggested the woman's career and decisions should depend on what the man thinks.
No need to flip the script and indulge a hypothetical. There’s an actual, real situation before us where a Supreme Court justice is beset by a major conflict of interest due to his wife’s highly partisan activities. That’s a big deal regardless of party affiliation, and I’d be saying the same thing if it was a Democrat.

Thomas should have recused himself from voting in the verdict on the release of Trump’s Jan 6th documents where, notably, he was the only opposing vote. He failed to, and it has the appearance of trying to protect his wife given how involved she is now being revealed to have been. That’s a pretty big deal.
 

Brad Sallows

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Thomas should have recused himself from voting in the verdict on the release of Trump’s Jan 6th documents where, notably, he was the only opposing vote.

Why? It was an executive privilege issue. And whether or not one is in the minority after the fact (the vote) is irrelevant.
 

Remius

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Why? It was an executive privilege issue. And whether or not one is in the minority after the fact (the vote) is irrelevant.
Nothing in the rules says he should.

Given her very active lobbying for it he probably should have given their personal relationship.
 

Brad Sallows

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Maybe he doesn't snoop his wife's email. Maybe she doesn't talk about what she emails to whom.

Perspective: USSC "politics" is a hot issue, but in my experience when a USSC justice creates issues, adverse comment comes from within the justice's assumed "team" as well as from outside. I'm waiting to see if more than just the usual agitators agitating against a "red team" judge raises the issue. Thomas is notoriously hated in some sub-circles of the progressive herd for being a black man off the progressive reservation, and in others for getting past the attempt to collect his scalp during his nomination.
 

Remius

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Maybe he doesn't snoop his wife's email. Maybe she doesn't talk about what she emails to whom.

Perspective: USSC "politics" is a hot issue, but in my experience when a USSC justice creates issues, adverse comment comes from within the justice's assumed "team" as well as from outside. I'm waiting to see if more than just the usual agitators agitating against a "red team" judge raises the issue. Thomas is notoriously hated in some sub-circles of the progressive herd for being a black man off the progressive reservation, and in others for getting past the attempt to collect his scalp during his nomination.

All that matters is perception. If you are a platoon commander and your girlfriend is in the platoon, you can be as impartial as you can be, it won’t stop people from talking. If your wife is responsible for procurement in a department and your husband is a guy looking to get a contract, it doesn’t look good.

When I conduct job interviews and I know the person [ie family or friend) applying, I tell someone and step away.

It isn’t complicated.
 

Brad Sallows

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Trump isn't Thomas's girlfriend or wife.

What's the legitimate basis for assuming that Thomas should have suspected that Trump's "papers" included potentially embarrassing stuff about Thomas's wife?
 

Remius

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Trump isn't Thomas's girlfriend or wife.

What's the legitimate basis for assuming that Thomas should have suspected that Trump's "papers" included potentially embarrassing stuff about Thomas's wife?
Her political affiliations are well known and documented. This isn’t about Trump. It’s about a Thomas. His wife was essentially lobbying for something that her husband could and would have him involved. And if she wasn’t married to him no one would have taken that call.

Again it’s about perception.
 

Brad Sallows

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Her political affiliations are well known and documented.

And, irrelevant. USSC justices aren't expected to recuse from cases on the basis of their own political affiliations, let alone their spouse's.
 

Remius

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And, irrelevant. USSC justices aren't expected to recuse from cases on the basis of their own political affiliations, let alone their spouse's.
No, you asked should he have known. He clearly knows what she does. It isn’t about her political affiliation but her lobbying for something that he might be involved with at some point.

Again, perception. I’m not saying he did anything wrong. By the books it looks like he hasn’t.But given this revelation and being the ONLY Justice to dissent it looks bad.

Look at te WE scandal. Morneau’s daughter working for WE and the PMs wife getting travel and per diems paid for to speak. And they get the contract. By your logic, there’s nothing to see there because Morneau and Trudeau could just claim they aren’t involved in what their family members do. I realise it’s not the same but the issue is perception.

USSC justices usually and historically recuse themselves when financial interests are involved. Some have recused themselves over personal issue such as knowing a victim or sometimes when it involved someone who voted not to confirm them.

It seems though as I look at it that the rules for USSC justices are far less stringent than that of federal court ones and the decision to refuse is ultimately up to the Justice.
 

Blackadder1916

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And, irrelevant. USSC justices aren't expected to recuse from cases on the basis of their own political affiliations, let alone their spouse's.

But it's not "political affiliation" that is the basis of the objection but the active involvement (lobbying, campaigning, advocacy) on the part of a spouse with regard to a specific issue that may come before the court. It's a pipedream, but one hopes that judicial opinions would come from an unbiased analysis of the arguments presented and application of the law rather than what family and friends want. And it's not as if Justice Thomas is unfamiliar with the concept. He, on one of the few occasions when he did recuse himself, did so because his son was already a student at VMI when that institution's restrictive admissions policy was central in United States v. Virginia.
 

FJAG

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And, irrelevant. USSC justices aren't expected to recuse from cases on the basis of their own political affiliations, let alone their spouse's.
Neither are ours for "affiliation". "Advocacy" is quite another matter.

This is one of those “Justice should not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done” moments. Lord Chief Justice Hewart.

🍻
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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I would like to think the folks deciding life-altering decisions on things like abortion aren't whipped into voting a certain way because their spouse said so....

"Well Dear, that rapist is kinda cute, let him off and I'll make lasagna tonight"
 

Brad Sallows

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But it's not "political affiliation"

Sure, then for the person/people who introduce "political affiliation" into the discussion, just set that aside as irrelevant.

It won't do to assume into evidence what you think Thomas knows about what his wife does. Spouses have parts of their lives they keep in confidence as a matter of preference. And I'm certain that people married to judges understand that there are some things that are kept entirely compartmented.

People have tried to make the argument that religious beliefs are grounds for a USSC justice to recuse, and pretty much been slapped down. Drawing a line from a spouse's political advocacy to a requirement for recusal - while having to assume what the judge knows - is even thinner.
 

OceanBonfire

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Lumber

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In today's News that's not NEWs...
 

Brad Sallows

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Sure, then try him instead teasing people with balance of probability ("more likely than not") guesses.
 

OceanBonfire

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