Clarence Thomas controversy percolates

We’ve been keeping an eye on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ recent ethics controversies, which appear to be generating at least a little more interest of late.

The New York Times reported a week ago that the right-wing jurist maintains an “ethically sensitive friendship” with Dallas real estate magnate and GOP financier Harlan Crow. Despite the fact that Crow’s company has multiple cases in the federal court system, he’s apparently showered Thomas with lucrative gifts, including a massive check to the justice’s wife to start her lobbying organization, and a multimillion-dollar deal in which Crow created a museum at a cannery where Thomas’ mother worked.

Much of this would seem to run afoul of the code of conduct for federal judges, which Supreme Court justices are not bound to follow, but which justices have said they would voluntarily adhere to.

Though most major news organizations haven’t shown significant interest, at least not yet, I was glad to see a good report on this from Rachel Maddow the other night.

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As for Capitol Hill, Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) appears to be taking the lead in shining a light on the matter, and explained this week that if a member of Congress were caught in a similar controversy, “there would be calls from across this country for them to resign, and, frankly, they would have violated the laws of this nation.”