Last week, a meme made its way around the Internet asking why Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was planning to rule on the healthcare law when his wife, a conservative lobbyist, has made so much money challenging the law.
Now, just days after healthcare law was upheld (with Clarence Thomas dissenting), new financial forms show that Thomas's wife, Ginni, continued to rake in a profit from opposing healthcare reforms in 2011—even after she previously came under fire for doing so.
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According to Thomas's 2011 financial disclosure report form, filed on May 15 and obtained Friday by Whispers, the Thomas’s invested up to $15,000 in the political lobbying firm Liberty Consulting, where Ginni Thomas continues to earn a salary and benefits. The firm lobbied actively against the healthcare law, according to liberal news magazine Mother Jones.
Ginni formed Liberty Consulting after she was criticized for her work at Liberty Central, a non-profit tea party organization that also lobbied against the health care law.
In March of this year, Liberty Central was the subject of a letter sent to the IRS by Common Cause, a nonprofit that works for government accountability. The letter argued that Liberty Central violated the proportionality rule for non-profits because the majority of its activities were designed to help Republican candidates.
Ginni later stepped down from Liberty Central, but her involvement in conservative politics extends beyond these two groups. Among Ginni's former employers is the Heritage Foundation, another vocal critic of the healthcare law. She also currently works as a “special correspondent” for the conservative website The Daily Caller.
In January 2011, Justice Thomas "inadvertently" left out information about his wife's employment, including earnings over the past 13 years that added up to as much as $1.6 million.
Thomas himself has also been criticized for his links to the Republican party, most notably in a October 2010 New York Times story about a Republican donors event bankrolled by the conservative Koch brothers, which listed the Supreme Court justice as an attendee.
As a result of these "questions of candor, accountability, and ethics," a new Change.org petiton, started by Garrett Troy, a recent graduate of the University of Washington, is calling for Thomas to resign. A similar petition created earlier on CredoAction.com has nearly 225,000 signatures.
"You have been less-than-forthcoming on matters concerning household fiduciary interests," states the petition. "Justice Thomas, do you think you belong here?"
A request for comment from the Thomas's office was not immediately returned.
Do you think Thomas should resign? Let us know in the comments section below.
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This post originally stated that Ginni Thomas made up to $15,000 working for Liberty Consulting. The Thomas’s actually invested that amount in the firm. Ms. Thomas’s income is unknown.