The fact that her organization isn't properly registered isn't really the big deal. The conflict of interest issue is --. And so it the fact that a supreme court justice's wife is so active on the fringe of right wing politics. Funny how we never heard the end of whining about "activist judges" when the Supreme Court was deciding positively for civil rights issues. Now that is really stacked politically to the right, and we get some truly activist decisions (from the installation of G.W.Bush by judicial fiat in 2000 to the recent decision of "corporate personhood"), it seems no one minds activist judges anymore. This case is just another example of how far out and far gone some judges are, with Clarence Thomas and his right wing activist wife. This woman actually is open about following Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, discredited fringe types that even many conservatives distance themselves from. This brings up the disturbing thought of a Supreme Court judge sitting at home and watching Glenn Beck with his Tea Bagger wife.
|Virginia warns wife of Justice Clarence Thomas her group is violating law
State officials tell Virginia Thomas that her conservative advocacy group, Liberty Central Inc., must comply with a law that requires registration before seeking donations.
By Kathleen Hennessey
Virginia consumer-protection officials have warned the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that her advocacy group is improperly soliciting contributions in the state.
In a letter to Virginia Thomas on Thursday, the state Office of Consumer Affairs directed Liberty Central Inc. to the Virginia law that requires groups to register with the office or request an exemption before seeking donations for a charitable purpose.
Liberty Central is a Virginia-based group soliciting contributions online and is not registered or exempt, said Michael Wright, the manager of regulatory programs at the Office of Consumer Affairs, a branch of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Under state law, political advocacy is considered a charitable purpose.
"They should be filed with us," he said.
Thomas is the president and chief executive of Liberty Central, a nonprofit group hoping to mobilize conservatives online.
The group, which is aiming to appeal to small-government "tea party" activists, was incorporated in Delaware in January and is registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
Justice's wife launches 'tea party' group
As Virginia Thomas tells it in her soft-spoken, Midwestern cadence, the story of her involvement in the "tea party" movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.
"I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you," she said at a recent panel discussion with tea party leaders in Washington. Thomas went on to count herself among those energized into action by President Obama's "hard-left agenda."
But Thomas is no ordinary activist.
She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.
In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative "core principles," she said.
The group plans to issue score cards for Congress members and be involved in the November election, although Thomas would not specify how. She said it would accept donations from various sources -- including corporations -- as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court.
"I adore all the new citizen patriots who are rising up across this country," Thomas, who goes by Ginni, said on the panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "I have felt called to the front lines with you, with my fellow citizens, to preserve what made America great."
Although Liberty Central is a nonpartisan group, its website shows an affinity for conservative principles. Her biography notes that Thomas is a fan of Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, author of "Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America."
"She is intrigued by Glenn Beck and listening carefully," the bio says.
As in her appearance at the panel discussion, the website does not mention Clarence Thomas.
The judicial code of conduct does require judges to separate themselves from their spouses' political activity. As a result, Marjorie Rendell, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has stayed away from political events, campaign rallies and debates in Pennsylvania. Her husband discussed such issues in his first campaign for governor.