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OPINION

Another High-Tech Lynching of Clarence Thomas

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

We've seen this rodeo before.

The infamous Anita Hill affidavit and accusation of sexual harassment lodged against then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991. Mr. Thomas denounced then-Sen. Joe Biden's sexual harassment hearings as a "high-tech lynching." Nominee Thomas was confirmed as a justice to the Supreme Court by a Democratic-controlled Senate.

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Now we are witness to an ongoing Anita Hill redux with hysterical verbal pummeling of Justice Thomas for neglecting to report gifts from Harlan Crow, who has never had a case before the high court. The justice has explained that he relied on legal advice of third parties in determining the reportability of gifts. Moreover, the work of the Supreme Court is intense and unrelenting. It requires intellectual concentration of the highest order. It is readily understandable why Justice Thomas did not divert his precious time in expounding the Constitution to the menial task of reporting gifts.

If sainthood were the standard for the Supreme Court, all nine seats would be vacant. Former Justice Stephen Breyer took at least 225 subsidized trips from 2004 to 2018 as reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. The trip destinations included Europe, Japan, India and Hawaii. Billionaire David Rubenstein paid for a trip to Nantucket, an island occupied by the 1%of the 1%.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia took at least 258 privately subsidized trips while sitting on the high court. He passed away while occupying an opulent Texas hunting lodge owned by John Poindexter, whose company had legal matters before the Supreme Court.

Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn paid for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's private tour of Israel in 2018. The billionaire had previous business before the court. Moreover, Justice Ginsburg outrageously attempted to derail Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. The Justice first volunteered to The New York Times: "I can't imagine what his place would be -- I can't imagine what the country would be -- with Donald Trump as our president." That was no slip of tongue. Justice Ginsburg later added: "He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. ... How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that."

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Bruce Allen Murphy's 1982 pathbreaking book, "The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection: The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices," disclosed recurring financial and partisan political irregularities of Justice Louis D. Brandeis and his understudy Justice Felix Frankfurter.

Can there be any doubt that if Justice Thomas sported a liberal jurisprudence that celebrated abortion, transgender rights, affirmative action, hyperstrict secularism and student protections against intellectual microaggressions, the media and Democrats would be treating his non-reporting of gifts as a venial faux pas, like misplacing a knife and fork at a state dinner? Their real grievance against the justice is his courageous unwillingness to shill for the liberal establishment -- an insult they find especially offensive because Clarence Thomas is black and contradicts their gospel that all blacks think alike. Their ulterior motive is to force Justice Thomas' resignation by media harangues.

But who among us has the moral standing to condemn Justice Thomas? As Jesus instructed in the Bible, "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her."

Former House Speaker and Democratic icon Nancy Pelosi in 2021 balked at the idea of banning congressional lawmakers and their spouses from owning shares of individual companies, despite the potential for conflicts of interest between their legislative duties and personal finances.

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"No," she replied to reporters at a news conference where she was asked whether she would support such a prohibition. "We're a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that."

A Business Insider investigative report on share ownership by lawmakers and other controversies over stock purchases by multiple senators since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the question to Pelosi. The report found that 78 members of Congress and 182 senior-level congressional staffers had violated the so-called STOCK Act, which requires public disclosure by themselves and family members within 45 days of sales or purchases of individual stocks, bonds and commodity futures.

That "a judge ... should be above suspicion" is a wonderful idea. But it is not real. In his his "Essay on Criticism," Alexander Pope preached that "All people commit sins and make mistakes. God forgives them, and people are acting in a godlike (divine) way when they forgive."

In the interests of full disclosure, Clarence Thomas has been a mentor and friend to me for many long years. I previously served as his confidential assistant. I have never known a more selfless, unpretentious, honest person. The nation should be thankful he has many more years to serve on the Supreme Court sparkling with a bold and pioneering opinions.

To find out more about Armstrong Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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