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Monday, October 25, 2010

It's not the sexual harassment, it's the lying
Posted by Jill | 8:05 PM
Remember when Republicans insisted that their vendetta against Bill Clinton wasn't about his affair, it was about him lying about it under oath in a legal proceeding? Earl Ofari Hutchinson makes a compelling case for the impeachment of Justice Clarence Thomas, under the same kind of perjury claim:
The impeachment case against Thomas is not based on personal or political disagreement over his views, decisions, opinions and rulings on the bench, his penchant for pornographic material, or for sexual harassment. It is based on clear legal and constitutional grounds, precedents, and Congressional mandates. Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution explicitly states that a Supreme Court Justice that "lacks good behavior" can be impeached. This is not an ambiguous, subjective term. It has been interpreted by the courts to equate to the same level of seriousness as the 'high crimes and misdemeanors" clause that unequivocally mandates that the House of Representatives initiate impeachment proceedings against any public official, or federal judge in violation of that provision.

The Constitutional precept is the first legal ground for impeachment proceedings against Thomas. The second is Title 18 of the U.S. Code. It states that any official of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government of the United States who knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact , makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry can be impeached. In other words lying to Congress is not only an impeachable offense. It's also illegal.

It's also clearly established that a public official whether the president, presidential appointees, or judges can be punished for giving false information and that's any false information of any nature to the House or Senate.


Thomas was asked directly by Utah senator Orin Hatch during his confirmation hearings about Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct and whether he used sexually suggestive language. Thomas answered: "I deny each and every single allegation against me today that suggested in any way that I had conversations of a sexual nature or about pornographic material with Anita Hill, that I ever attempted to date her, that I ever had any personal sexual interest in her, or that I in any way ever harassed her. "

Thomas was emphatic, "If I used that kind of grotesque language with one person, it would seem to me that there would be traces of it throughout the employees who worked closely with me, or the other individuals who heard bits and pieces of it or various levels of it." This was stated under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Thomas's sworn testimony was clearly contradicted even then in public statements by witnesses. The witnesses were not called to testify. The one witness that contradicted Thomas's sworn testimony, Angela Wright, did testify. She worked with Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and was emphatic that Thomas sexually harassed her and used explicit and graphic sexual language. Her story was corroborated by a former EEOC speechwriter who told investigators about Thomas' penchant for improper sexual talk. Letters to the committee from other women who worked with Thomas confirmed that he was a serial sexual harasser and had a penchant for sexually perverse talk. The Senate panel had other sources to corroborate the Hill-Wright charge that Thomas engaged in sexual harassment and obsessive interest in sexual smut. These sources were ignored too.

Two decades later Thomas's apparent perjured testimony to Congress is now squarely back on the legal table. Lillian McEwen put it there. Her legal credentials are impressive. She is a former assistant U.S. attorney and Senate Judiciary Committee counsel. She also dated Thomas. In interviews, she again confirmed that Hill and the other women's allegations that Thomas engaged in sexual harassment, was addicted to pornography, and talked incessantly and graphically about it and women were truthful.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for this to happen. Remember, Democrats don't do this sort of thing. They're just going to wait around and let Darrell Issa start issuing his subpoenas about nothing.

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Blogger New York Crank said...
Hey, we could also impeach Alito and Roberts who swore under oath that they would follow stare decicis, leaving settled law stand, and then turned around, broke their oaths, and began ripping up 100 years of settled law, with a new interpretation of the right to bear arms and new interpretations of the First Amendment that turn corporations into "people."

So it could be a triple-header, Roberets, Alito and
Thomas, except....

Except the Republicans are mighty damn close to taking control of the House, and Mr. Nice-Nice in the White House likes to cuddle up to the enemy, hoping they'll like him, and the Republicans aren't about to impeach any right wing justices although they might find a pretext to go after the saner heads on the court.

In fact, the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if we get more right wing justices in the next four years.

The good news is things move slower than you'd expect and none of us lives forever. Anyone reading this will probably be dead before the United States is plunged into total ruin by these right wing lunatics. Especially if they use their new power in Congress to take an axe to Medicare, Obamacare and ... did I mention Social Security?

So we probably won't live long enough to see the ultimate disaster. Take heart in that.

Yours very, very, very crankily,
The New York Crank