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Judicial Ethics

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Voting & Elections 07.26.2022

Wisconsin Examiner (Op-Ed): Wisconsin must repudiate this Trump-ordered assault on voting and fair elections

Republicans appear to have cynically calculated that these “ballot security” measures to suppress the vote may be harmful to some of their own voters, but that it will block  more Wisconsinites who might vote for their political opponents.  Republicans have targeted voters who reside in urban areas like Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and Green Bay. They have also homed in on college and university students by making it more difficult for that population to vote, even with a college-issued photo ID, than almost anywhere else in the nation. Most cruelly, Republicans have targeted Wisconsinites with disabilities, the elderly and the poor who must rely on public transportation and don’t have or cannot easily obtain the required photo ID needed to vote in Wisconsin. Republicans have not always behaved like this in Wisconsin. The question now is when, or even if, they will come to their senses and abandon this vicious assault on the very essence of our being as Americans, a promise that has made this state and this nation a beacon of  freedom and hope in the world: our 233-year-old commitment to free and fair elections.

Inside Sources/Tribune News Service (Op-Ed): Our Freedoms Are Under Attack

Recent headlines, from the January 6th Select Committee’s hearings to the Supreme Court rolling back the right to reproductive healthcare, profoundly implicate the freedom that many will celebrate this Independence Day. Opponents of democracy — a system that works best when it empowers people to have an equal say in decisions that affect their futures — have waged a well-coordinated attack on it. Freedom must be fortified, it must be protected at the ballot box, and it must never be taken for granted.

Overturning Roe v. Wade is an Assault on Free, Fair, and Fundamental Rights   

Today’s opinion overturning Roe v. Wade threatens the fundamental rights of every American. The ruling is the culmination of a decades-long strategy to take the Constitution, our Court, and our country backwards on issues of reproductive freedom, and it has profound implications for every other right that could be next on the chopping block. The ruling also exposes the disingenuous sworn testimony of conservative justices during their Senate confirmation hearings when they assured Senators that Roe was established precedent, leaving unsaid their agenda to reverse it.  

CNBC: Inside the consulting firm run by Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Beth Rotman, national director of money in politics and ethics at watchdog Common Cause, told CNBC that new ethics laws governing Supreme Court justices should require them to disclose more details of their spouses’ consulting contracts. “Disclosure must be robust for it to be truly meaningful in this context so financial disclosures should include consulting contracts. As you have seen already, when justices complete their annual reports, they list information that does not give a complete view of their spouse’s financial ties,” Rotman said in an email. “It is key to meaningful disclosure that the rules be updated to include the source and amount of any spouse’s consulting contracts over a reasonable minimum threshold.”

HuffPost: Clarence Thomas Has Recused Himself From Cases Involving His Son — But Not His Wife

In 2009, Ginni Thomas founded a “tea party” nonprofit called Liberty Central to help defeat President Barack Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act. She raised $550,000 from undisclosed donors to fund it. This prompted the nonprofit Common Cause to call on Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case challenging limits on corporate political spending. He did not. Further investigation by Common Cause revealed that Clarence Thomas had failed to disclose the $686,589 salary his wife earned from the conservative Heritage Foundation, a major opponent of Obama’s health care law, from 2003-2007.

Common Cause Announces Support for Confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court

In a letter sent to the U.S. Senate this morning, Common Cause urged senators to confirm U.S. Circuit Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. Common Cause’s letter highlighted Judge Jackson’s strong commitment to justice for all and the wealth of experience she brings that led to bi-partisan support throughout her judicial career.

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