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 TONIGHT SHOW
By Kyle Cheney
November’s shaping up to be a major test of Obamacare functionality.
That’s when new features of the health law’s enrollment system — some of which have been put off repeatedly because of insufficient testing — are slated to go online. Among them: online enrollment in the marketplace for small businesses, a Spanish-language enrollment website and the transfer of Medicaid applications from the feds to the states.
Administration officials are insisting that the already-stressed system will run smoothly for most potential enrollees by the end of next month, but they’re shedding little light on what’s left on the so-called punch list that the administration’s tech experts are plowing through.
Marilyn Tavenner, who runs the federal agency that oversees the enrollment process, told lawmakers Tuesday that some of HealthCare.gov’s functions were postponed because of a “compressed time frame” for testing.
[A sitting governor subs for Bill O'Reilly on Fox?]