Letters to the Editor

The Appearance of Impropriety

To the Editor,

First, thank you for all your good work on behalf of our neighborhood.  I am grateful that we still have a local publication like yours.

Second, thank you too for your editorial breadth.   That you comment on international or national events/circumstances as well as local issues is important and appreciated.

With respect to Justice Thomas, I agree with what you have written but the real issue, in my view, is not only the ethics violations but the fact that Leonard Leo, actual “leader” of the Federalist Society (although, not surprisingly, his name appears nowhere on the Federalist  Society website or on its “staff”) is a regular guest with Justice Thomas.   These are facts as I know them but, should it interest you, feel free to verify them. 

Justice Thomas has never chosen his own law clerks.   They are vetted for him by the Federalist Society and have been since the day he was sworn in; he selects only those chosen or approved by the Federalist Society.  It is well known that Justice Thomas has NEVER written his own opinions.   They are written entirely by his Federalist Society law clerks; he may direct them or edit the opinions but they are never written by Justice Thomas.  And they are never out of sync with Federalist Society positions  which are “refreshed” by Justice Thomas’ law clerks.  Crowe has claimed that none of the guests he invited on trips or visits had matters pending before the Court or were invited to “influence” Justice Thomas.  Yet in several of the pictures of Justice Thomas on vacation, the photo of Leonard Leo appears….it is both stupid and wrong to say (as Crowe and others have said) that the guests were not invited to “influence” Thomas; each of these vacation encounters may well be a “refresher” course on Federalist Society positions and issues.   Thomas’ whole judicial career has been built and maintained by the Federalist Society and it is yet something else that Thomas has never disclosed.    He has not come to his positions by virtue of his intellect or readings.   His positions have been continuously those brought to him by decades of Federalist Society law clerks.   By virtue of neither his training, experience or natural talents, it has been obvious since his appointment that he is simply not in the same league as other Justices, regardless of their supposed political leanings.  While some, I am sure, would disagree with that assessment, what is indisputable is that the ideas put forth by Justice Thomas come, almost without exception or modification from the Federalist Society.  That is why the inclusion of Leo Leonard on those trips or vacations is so important since it clearly shows at least the appearance of impropriety.   Thank you.

Alice Richmond

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