John Oliver on the lack of ethics in the US Supreme Court

After examining the blatant violations of ethical norms by justices Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, Oliver comes up with an idea to coax Thomas to leave the court by appealing to the one thing that seems to drive him: the desire to live like a very wealthy person who likes to drive around in a massive motor home. In public, Thomas talks about how he is battling the elites on behalf of ordinary people while in reality he loves to be the beneficiary of lavish vacations and gift from billionaires while ruling in ways that harm ordinary people. A really sleazy hypocrite.

Oliver offers him a contract where Thomas will be paid $1 million per year for the rest of his life and also get possession of a top-of-the-line motor home costing $2.5 million (that includes a bedroom with a king-size bed, 1 ½ bathrooms, and a full-size refrigerator) if he leaves the court. The offer is time limited in that Thomas has just 30 days from the date of the show (February 18th) to sign the contract. Oliver says that the money will come from him personally and that he has checked with lawyers and that, amazingly, making such an offer is legal.

I do not think that there is any chance that Thomas will accept the offer. Even though he loves to live the high life and would have no scruples about accepting it, like any person without a strong sense of ethics, he may suspect that others are like him and that the offer is not genuine and that if he makes moves towards accepting it, Oliver will unmask him, even though I think Oliver’s offer is genuine.


  1. johnson catman says

    It will never happen. Thomas would have to cut back on his lavish lifestyle on a mere $1 million per year. One trip alone that Oliver mentioned was worth $500,000. Of course, if Thomas was no longer on SCOTUS, his “friends” would most assuredly abandon him because he would have nothing to offer them in return for the gifts that he now receives. So, unfortunately, we are stuck with business as usual and a corrupted court.

  2. Matt G says

    Also, leaving would be a tacit admission that he has no ethical standards. Everyone -- and that includes Clarence himself -- knows he has no standards, but we all have to pretend otherwise. Did he have any business being part of today’s ruling given his wife’s behavior?

  3. billseymour says

    It was a unanimous decision, so although there are certainly a few corrupt justices, I don’t think this case is evidence for it.  (And we already have plenty of other evidence anyway.)

    Also, I think it was probably a wise decision.  If the court had decided for Colorado, you know that Republicans would crank it up to eleven because that’s what they do.  In my home state of Missouri, for example, it’s not hard to imagine our trumpista Attorney General arguing that the obvious Democratic numinee should be kept off the general election ballot because Hunter Biden something something.

  4. johnson catman says

    billseymour @4: Perhaps you meant to post your comment on The Infinite Thread where Lynna posted about that decision in comment #9? The John Oliver episode that Mano posted aired on February 25, before the SCOTUS decision from this week, and was mainly about the bought-and-paid-for Justice Thomas.

    re Jean @3: You can bet that if one of the conservative justices died or had to step down before the election, the republicans would raise holy hell about Biden getting to appoint the replacement. I would hope that in that situation, the Democrats would tell them to go fuck themselves after what they pulled in 2016 (and 2012 for that matter).

  5. billseymour says

    johnson catman @6:  I don’t follow PZ’s Infinite Thread; but, yeah, I saw something about the Supreme Court and had an immediate knee-jerk reaction to thinking it was about the Colorado case…my bad.

    I didn’t watch the video and probably won’t because I already agree about Thomas.

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