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Clarence Thomas Absolutely Loves Going On Vacations

3:51 PM EDT on August 10, 2023

WASHINGTON - MARCH 08: US Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas testifies before the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill March 8, 2007 in Washington, DC. Thomas and fellow Justice Anthony Kennedy spoke about concerns with the ongoing remodeling of the court building, the reduction of paperwork due to electronic media and the disparity of pay between federal judges and lawyers working in the private sector. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Clarence Thomas
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

According to another exhaustively researched report from ProPublica, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, a committed partisan in the war against humanity, is not only sponsored by freakish Nazi aesthetics appreciator Harlan Crow, but has spent the last couple decades being flown around the world by a bunch of other crepe-y, creepy right-wing billionaires. Brett Murphy and Alex Mierjeski examined flight records, pored over emails and tax filings, and talked to more than 100 people, work that led them to an unavoidable conclusion: Clarence Thomas simply loves going on vacation more than any other person in the world. He has leveraged his lifetime perch as unelected, unaccountable god-king of law to facilitate trips to rich guys' soulless but very large houses in Florida on a scale that a normal person, who only likes going on vacation a regular amount, would simply be unable to comprehend.

If you read the original ProPublica reporting into Thomas's relationship with Crow, this probably does not come as too much of a surprise. Thomas wasn't flagrantly dabbing on the concept of judicial ethics to vibe out with Crow in direct exchange for favorable rulings on specific Supreme Court cases; rather, he seems to see these sorts of trips and goodies as the earned perks of a job well done. If people appreciate his work making sure that nothing "too good" is permitted to happen and therefore want to fly him around on their helicopters, who is he to say no? The New York Times reported last month that David Sokol was bankrolling trips for the Thomases to Florida and Montana, and today ProPublica reported more in depth on Thomas's links with Sokol, as well as the justice's relationships with former Dolphins, Panthers, and Marlins owner H. Wayne Huizenga and oil baron Paul Novelly. They all used their considerable fortunes to help Thomas put up Mo Stokes numbers:

At least 38 destination vacations, including a previously unreported voyage on a yacht around the Bahamas; 26 private jet flights, plus an additional eight by helicopter; a dozen VIP passes to professional and college sporting events, typically perched in the skybox; two stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica; and one standing invitation to an uber-exclusive golf club overlooking the Atlantic coast.

ProPublica

Those sporting events were mostly University of Nebraska football games. Sokol is a huge Nebraska booster and donor, and he flew Clarence and his QAnon-casualty wife Ginni out to watch such esteemed contests as Nebraska beating South Alabama by two touchdowns to open the 2019 season. Maybe flying on a private jet to Lincoln, Neb. to watch a Sun Belt Conference team lose to an underachieving FBS school doesn't sound that exciting to you, but that might be because you are not a true vacationhead like Thomas. To the seasoned leisure expert, someone committed to putting in the reps and going to Fort Lauderdale all the time on some nutcracker-looking-ass billionaire's 737, any trip to any place is worth it. One hilarious source for the ProPublica report was Ginni's scrapbooks, in which she would frame photos of a bunch of her stinky pals in oversized polo shirts with goofy captions. If this looks tacky to you, consider that perhaps that is because you aren't enjoying your own vacations enough.

The disgusting contempt shown for concepts like "basic ethics" and "the law" is very obvious here, and Albert's take following the first ProPublica reports still holds here: The unchecked and uncheckable power of a Supreme Court justice like Thomas is such that he's functionally immune from any possible civil or legal consequences, for anything. At first blush, then, it may seem odd that he's not even tipping the scales for his sponsors when presented with opportunities to do so. Take for example Paul Novelly, who flew Thomas down to the Bahamas on his private jet for fishing and yachting trips. Novelly's company Apex Oil was sued by the Justice Department in 2005 for illegally contaminating groundwater and refusing to participate in the cleanup, and when they appealed to the Supreme Court to hear their case, the Court declined. Apex had to pay a $150 million fine.

So why would the billionaire boss of that company still go out of his way to party with a justice on that court? Because they've both already won, no matter what specific penalties that rich guy's horrible company may incur for poisoning some community or other, and regardless of how mad the public will get over a supposed public servant letting any billionaire with a helicopter whisk him off to, say, Jackson Hole. Thomas will be on the court no matter what, furthering its mission to strip the skeleton of American civil society of the lingering strength it still has, no matter what. Who's going to stop him from accepting any trip he wants? What's the point of all that power if you and your horrible wife can't kick back in a gaudy McMansion?

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