Clarence Thomas Is Another Step Closer To Being Investigated
`The alleged ethics violations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas have been sent for action to the Financial Disclosure Committee of the Judicial Conference.
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Things Are Starting To Heat Up Around Clarence Thomas
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) tweeted some news, “News: Unreported gifts to Clarence Thomas of private jet and yacht trips from Harlan Crow cause his disclosure failure to be sent for action to the Financial Disclosure Committee of the Judicial Conference.
The Judicial Conference is the policymaking body for the federal court system. It is a part of the federal government that is funded by appropriations from Congress. The Judicial Conference investigates allegations of federal judicial misconduct and has the power to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice.
Congress itself does not have the power to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice unless a resolution is passed giving itself that power in the course of conducting legislative oversight. Criminal referrals can be made for lying to Congress, but those referrals require a full vote of the House or Senate to pass.
The reason why the 1/6 Committee could make criminal referrals was that the resolution passed by the full House establishing the committee granted it criminal referral power.
A member of Congress can ask the DOJ to investigate, but they can’t make criminal referrals as part of their congressional powers.
Sen. Whitehouse has asked the DOJ to investigate Thomas through a request to the head of the Judicial Conference. The Campaign Legal Center is also seeking to have the Judicial Conference make a referral of Clarence Thomas to the DOJ.
The news that Sen. Whitehouse tweeted yesterday represents a step forward in potentially holding Thomas accountable.
Let’s discuss why Congress can’t just deal with Thomas below.
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