JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Clarence, Clarence, Clarence

Back when I was a kid, aspiring to one day enter politics, there was something incredibly inspiring about the Supreme Court.

As Republicans and Democrats sparred over every possible issue, the Court seemed to rise above all. Its members were, simply, dedicated to the letter of the law; to righteousness and fairness. I never wanted to actually join its ranks, but I always considered it to be a position of remarkable authenticity.

Supreme Court Justice—yes!

That, sadly, was a long time ago. From the Bush-Gore intervention to the siding with corporate contributions to the stable of judges who always—always—side with either left or right, the Court has become, in my mind, a joke. Even worse, it’s merely another political brand, leaning one way or the other depending on the majority.

Now, there’s the wacky news about Clarence Thomas, quite possibly the least-honorable justice in modern history. At some point in the not-too-distant future, the Supreme Court will decided whether the president’s health care overhaul is legal or unconstitutional. It’ll stand as an incredibly important decision, one that needs to be ruled on with pure and clear impartiality from both left and right leanings.

This, I fear, is impossible. Turns out that Virginia Thomas, Clarence’s wife, advertises herself as a lobbyist who has “experience and connections” and appeals to clients who want to overturn health reform. It also looks like Thomas failed to disclose his wife’s receipt of $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation between 2003 and 2006. In other words, the Thomas family has directly benefitted from Virginia’s opposing of the law that he husband will now decide upon.

Hmm … how does this one end?