THE DAILY SHOW
By Ned Resnikoff
A top House Democrat is going after one of the Supreme Court’s most conservative justices and trying to enlist the Chief Justice in her cause.
On Wednesday, New York Rep. Louise Slaughter wrote to Chief Justice John Roberts asking that heformally reprimand his colleague Justice Clarence Thomas for participating in the conservative Federalist Society’s annual fundraiser. Thomas’ appearance at the event, writes Slaughter, is a “clear violation of the ethical standards embodied in the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges.”
Her letter was co-signed by representatives from two progressive advocacy groups: Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, and Arn H. Pearson, vice president for policy and litigation for Common Cause.
Canon 4(c) of the Code of Conduct forbids judges from personally participating in fundraising events. Although it is not legally binding upon Supreme Court justices, Roberts has previously written that it provides “a current and uniform source of guidance” for the members of the Court.
“Justice Thomas is among several members of the high court who’ve made a habit of flouting judicial ethics by headlining Federalist Society fundraisers,” said Pearson in a statement. “He gets away with it because the Court has exempted itself from the Code, but that doesn’t make it right.”
The remarks were made during an interview with Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi, during which Mandvi and Yelton discussed efforts to pass new voter identification requirements into in North Carolina, a requirement that many critics argue will subdue voter turnout in the state.
“The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt,” Yelton said. “If it hurts a bunch of college kids [that are] too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of whites, so be it.”
Yelton also made a series of racially incendiary remarks to Mandvi as they discussed the law.
“If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it,” Yelton added.
Following his controversial interview, the Buncombe county GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell vehemently distanced the party from Yelton’s comments.
“Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe Republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon,” Mitchell said in a statement released to the press.
“This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party,” Mitchell added
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