Plus: Actions YOU may take to help do something about it...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2011, 4:13pm PT  

[Ed Note: I will be discussing this matter with Common Cause president, Bob Edgard, while guest hosting tonight's Mike Malloy Show. - BF]

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Picking up on The BRAD BLOG's coverage last week, offering new and exclusive details on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' 20 years of financial disclosure crimes, and the specific legal penalties --- including jail time --- that he ought to be very worried about (if accountability was ever appropriately brought to folks on the Right) Nancy Goldstein at Alternet today quotes me in her new article asking "Why Does Clarence Thomas Get Away With Breaking the Law, As His Wife Shills for Wealthy Right-Wingers?"

I'm quoted at the beginning of her report, as follows...

There are many snarky things one could say about the fact that the justice's failure, while entirely illegal, has gone unquestioned and unpunished by both the feds and most of the media. One could grouse about the special treatment angle --- that the average American wouldn't get the legal benefit of the doubt in similar circumstances; or be allowed to file on a Saturday, when the federal government office is usually closed; or have their forms processed so quickly that by Monday, when the rest of the media caught up with the Thomas story, it was to say, in essence, "all taken care of, nothing to see here, move right along." Skeptics could claim to be perplexed that a Supreme Court justice, who hears the country's most complicated legal cases, could cite "misunderstanding of the filing instructions," especially given that he did file correctly prior to 1996, before suddenly becoming confused.

Journalist Brad Friedman, whose Brad Blog offers a detailed account of the Thomas fiasco, notes that this same set of circumstances would play out completely differently if the shoe were on the other foot. As Friedman told me, "If it were Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg not reporting a million dollars from working for ACORN, the right wing would be all over it and so would the press --- until someone from the Department of Justice agreed to prosecute. The right wing, and eventually the media, would say that Ginsburg should have known the rule of law; they'd be all over her for receiving 'special treatment,' and she'd be gone in a week."

Please read the full column here, as the coverage from the mainstream corporate media to date, as we detailed in our own article last week as well, has been remarkably bad, completely misleading, and/or non-existent. So our thanks to Goldstein for picking up the ball, examining the issue closely, and advancing the story as it needs to be, and as the mainstream corporate media ought to be doing (and would be doing, as noted above, if the Justice who had falsified his or her financial reports had been a Democratic appointee.)

On this topic, I'll be interviewing Common Cause president Bob Edgar tonight as I guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show once again. (I'll be doing so all week.)

Common Cause deserves great credit for originally breaking the story of Thomas' improprieties about two long weeks ago, in regard to the hundreds of thousands of dollars received by his wife from Rightwing political special interest groups, and subsequently not reported, year after year, by Thomas on his Financial Disclosure Report filings.

The group is now asking the Dept. of Justice to review whether or not last years horrific Citizens United ruling ought to be vacated in light of direct conflicts of interest, or, at the very least, the clear appearance thereof, by both Justices Thomas and Anton Scalia who privately met with leaders of RW organizations who ended up directly benefiting from that landmark SCOTUS ruling.

Common Cause has created a petition calling on the DoJ to investigate that conflict of interest right here

As well, [a campaign of, which, since we actually believe in disclosure, is co-founded by The BRAD BLOG] also has a petition calling for the DoJ to prosecute Thomas for his crimes, right here. They have also created a letter to Congress, which you may sign, asking them to investigate and impeach Thomas as appropriate, right here.

If the media (and therefore, the Dept. of Justice) fail to properly investigate and report on this story, it's up to the people to make noise to force them to do so.

Egypt's citizens have done much more, at the risk of death and torture. I suspect you can click a few buttons on your computer to help restore justice to this country, at the very least.