"Clarence Thomas must resign, and if he doesn't, well, if there was ever a case to impeach a Supreme Court justice, this is it," Reich said.
"For years, Thomas failed to disclose flights on private jets, super yacht trips, and stays at resorts," Reich recalled. "He received his gifts from a Republican mega-donor. Even though the Supreme Court has no legally binding code of ethics and justices remain among the least accountable people in our government legal experts claim that Thomas violated federal disclosure laws when he failed to report the free travel he was gifted. But at the very least it violated the public's trust and corruptly exploited his position of power to subsidize a life of luxury."
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is expected to bring up a proposal today at a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting that would use Congress’s power of the purse to pressure the Supreme Court to adopt a “code of ethics.”
The committee will mark up three spending bills today, including the one that funds the Supreme Court.
Van Hollen, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the court’s budget, declined to discuss his plans Wednesday, including whether his proposal would be included in the base bill or offered as an amendment.
“I've been sworn not to say anything,” Van Hollen said. “As I've said all along, we're looking at all options.”
- But The Early obtained an amendment he is expected to at least bring up for discussion, if not formally offer, that would withhold $10 million in funding from the court’s $110 million salaries-and-expenses account until Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. informs Congress “that the Supreme Court has put into effect a code of ethics for the Chief Justice and the associate justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
It goes on to specify that none of the withheld money would apply to security funding.
Would have been nice, right? That was this morning. This afternoon? The Appropriations Committee issued a press release which included this:
“The final thing I will say—because it will be the subject of an amendment. As I indicated earlier, we cover the federal judiciary. I hoped at the subcommittee level that we would be able to get some language requiring, finally, that the Supreme Court of the United States establish an ethics code of conduct. We were not able to get that done on a bipartisan basis, so I will be offering an amendment for the purposes of discussion, and we will see where that discussion goes.
“But let me close where I started by thanking both the Chair and the Vice Chair, and Senator Hagerty. And with that, I yield.”
We have got to keep trying and we've got to make this happen. We have an illegitimate Court currently and no way to hold it accountable.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
If money is available for investment in Iraq today, it should be first spent on oil production and expansion of the gas industry infrastructure.
Iraq’s oil production is not commensurate with the country’s potential as one of the world’s largest oil reserves. Some say that Iraq is the largest unexplored oil reservoir in the world, and that seismic surveys have only explored a small part of that reservoir.
Mohammed Hamid Nour is only 23, but he is already nostalgic for how Iraq's Mesopotamian marshes once were before drought dried them up, decimating his herd of water buffaloes.
Even at their centre in Chibayish, only a few expanses of the ancient waterways -- home to a Marsh Arab culture that goes back millennia -- survive, linked by channels that snake through the reeds.
Pull back further and the water gives way to a parched landscape of bald and cracked earth.
Palm trees need consistent care: watering, pruning and fertilizing. And when farmers had to leave, the trees suffered.
“So many people are forced to sell their land for very cheap and, oftentimes, farmers have found themselves working on land that they used to own,” Rubaii explained.
Iraq has also been getting hotter and drier. According to the UN, it is the fifth-most vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change.
“There’s a section of the southern part of Baghdad, if you drive through, you can see a lot of trees that look like they’ve been decapitated,” Rubaii added, “because sometimes when trees die, they keel over or, if they’re not surviving, sometimes they get cut from the top.”
Making matters worse is Iraq’s construction boom — especially in bigger cities like Baghdad. It means that more farmers are choosing to cut down palm trees entirely to make way for building projects.
The owner of a Michigan hair salon is refusing to serve some members of the LGBTQ+ community, flouting a state law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis.
In a recent Facebook post, Christine Geiger, the owner of Studio 8 Hair Lab in Traverse City, Michigan, wrote that “If a human identifies as anything other than a man/woman, please seek services at a local pet groomer. You are not welcome at this salon. Period.”
Geiger added that she and her staff would refer to customers who request to be addressed by a “particular pronoun” as “hey you,” regardless of what Michigan’s H.B. 4744 states. The legislation, signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in March, added the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to Michigan’s 1976 Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) banning discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation within businesses, government buildings, and educational facilities on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, and marital status.
Geiger’s post follows the Supreme Court’s ruling in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, which said that certain business owners have the right under the First Amendment’s free speech protections to deny service on the basis of their personal beliefs. The court ruled in favor of a Christian web designer in Colorado who argued that the state’s LGBTQ+-inclusive anti-discrimination law violated her free speech rights by potentially forcing her to create wedding websites for hypothetical same-sex couples.
While some have argued that the decision narrowly applies to businesses that provide “expressive services” and does not provide carte blanche protection for any businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, many have predicted that anti-LGBTQ+ business owners inclined to discriminate would interpret the ruling as a license to do so, despite state laws banning anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.
Marcia covered this topic last night in "Now more businesses think they refuse to serve LGBTQ+ members," while Ann covered it in "One thing Joe Biden deserves serious praise for" and we noted it in the "Roundtable" for THIRD and, yes, it's what Trina's talking about in "Some good news via the Emmy nominations:"
I feel very frightened for what this country is testing out on LGBTQ+ people. I feel very sad that a country of people who are loving and caring people are being tricked and deceived by liars who are trying to stir up hate. I feel very angry at grifters like Katie Halper who cannot address what is going on but can chat and giggle with convicted pedophile Scott Ritter or waste all of our time on yet another look-what-they're-doing-to-Roger-Waters-now!!!!!
I'm just discouraged.
Listen and note how the same group of people keep popping up -- behind the scenes -- Bri-Bri, Jimmy Dore, Jill Stein, Cornel West, serial plagiarist Chris Hedges, Medea Benjamin, etc etc. As Jared pointed out, "the same people caught up in it. You've got Chris Hedges, you've got Cornel West, you've got Jimmy Dore, you've got talented microphoned, you know, spokespeople. You got somewhat celebrity -- football players, who ever."