This is beginning to sound like a daily occurrence: in his financial disclosures, Justice Thomas reports that the Federalist Society reimbursed him for “transportation, meals and accommodations” for four days at a weekend retreat. This is for an event organized by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers "who are waging a war against Obama." Last month, however, a spokesman for the Court offers that the Justice had only made a "brief drop-by" at the event, which included a speech. The advocacy group Common Cause sent a letter to the Court this week asking for "further clarification."
You can take this latest episode one of two ways: either liberal groups are on a witch hunt (a high-tech lynching, perhaps?) against Justice Thomas; or else Justice Thomas is more tone-deaf and irresponsible than a justice deserves to be. Judicial independence will do that to a guy.
Biased as I may be, I am inclined to view as cluelessness on the justice's part, perhaps hubris. He is a supreme court justice. We are not. And if he wants to give a speech and then sit in any case he wishes to sit on, that is not your problem.
Here's the real question: how much will be enough?