On Thursday, June 8, the Supreme Court released opinions in several cases, including a Voting Rights Act case, Allen v. Milligan. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the Court’s liberal bloc to form a five-vote majority to uphold Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. In other Court news, Congressional Democrats continued to go after Justice Clarence Thomas for his friendship with a billionaire. Meanwhile, Justices Thomas and Samuel Alito asked for extensions on financial disclosure filings.
Supreme Court Says You Must See Race Everywhere
Alabama’s Republican legislature re-drew congressional district lines after the 2020 census. They used a computer program to ensure a race-blind result, which included only one district comprising a majority of blacks. Democrats sued, believing this would result in fewer seats in Congress for them. The Court ruled that race-neutral means of drawing lines are forbidden by the Voting Rights Act, which requires race-conscious district construction. It doesn’t matter that no one suggests the process was anything other than race blind; Roberts wrote that the Act requires state governments to keep race at the forefront of redistricting decisions and maximize barely black majority districts.
Justice Thomas issued a lengthy dissent from the Court’s opinion. He wrote:
“It is true that, ‘under our direction, federal courts [have been] engaged in methodically carving the country into racially designated electoral districts’ for decades now. But that fact should inspire us to repentance, not resignation.”
In other news from the Court this week, Justices Thomas and Alito did not join their colleagues in filing financial disclosure forms. The justices will have another 90 days to file the reports covering 2022. New rules for this year include requiring private jet travel paid for by others, as well more disclosures of gifts of travel and accommodations. Thomas’ disclosure will undoubtedly face strict scrutiny, as the left is waging a cancellation campaign against him. The week began as so many now do, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durban (D-IL) attacking Justice Thomas in the well of the Senate. He said:
“While we are focused on the ethical conduct of all the justices, the revelations about hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed gifts the Justice Clarence Thomas has received over the past two decades present the clearest example of the appearance of misconduct that we must address through legislation.”
Despite Progressive conspiracy theories, even a Federalist Society member might do more than lift an eyebrow at a Supreme Court justice who took hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts. The good news is that Thomas did not. Durban’s fig leaf to cover the big fat lie is imputing a gift value never received. If Donald and Melania Trump invited Justice Thomas to visit Mar-a-Lago for the weekend, what would be the value of the visit? Under Durban’s logic, you find out how much it is to rent a 7+ acre estate in Palm Beach with at least 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces, five tennis courts, and a 20,000 square-foot ballroom for the same number of days, and there’s your value. Durban’s insistence on this preposterous accounting is a valuable indicator of the sincerity of his court “reform” efforts.
The ProPublica article detailing Thomas’ relationship with billionaire friend Harlan Crow said: “The pair have become genuine friends, according to people who know both men.” The Court has only a few weeks left on its calendar to release opinions in over twenty remaining cases, including closely watched contests over affirmative action, free exercise of religion, and Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, among others.
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