CPAC: Virginia Thomas and Liberty Central

posted at 4:07 pm on February 18, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

I spoke with Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who remains active in conservative causes. Her latest effort is Liberty Central, which aims at providing history and philosophical instruction to Tea Party activists and those dissatisfied with the current direction of American government. They will fully launch in the spring, and it will arm activists with the tools to win debates:


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I spoke with Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who remains active in conservative causes.

Liberal minds everywhere reported blown, as a white, intellectual conservative woman somehow put her inherent racism aside and married a black, intellectual conservative man. Developing…

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amerpundit on February 18, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Scalia should start a constitutional education outreach program as well. If abortionists and church of satan members (really, no joke)can demand class time, why the hell not us?

abobo on February 18, 2010 at 4:12 PM

I dunno. I’m uncomfortable with the spouses of high-level judges being this involved in politics.

Jimbo3 on February 18, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Liberty Central is an interesting concept for a website, but I’m not sure how it will fly:

LibertyCentral.org will serve the big tent of the conservative movement and assist all viable individuals and organizations with education and engagement. The site’s primary focus will be on emerging and new citizen activists – helping them discover a viable path to effective and efficient activism, along with an understanding of why their participation matters in accordance with founding principles and limited Constitutional governance.

Visitors will be offered self-assessment tools directing them to profile-specific threats, opportunities, local activities, and groups they may wish to join.

We will see. There’s a “Donate” button on one of the two fully populated pages.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2010 at 4:16 PM

I feel bad, Ed is working so hard and I can’t comment. I promise I will watch them all when I get home from work. I am looking forward to all the interviews and again, thank you.

Cindy Munford on February 18, 2010 at 4:18 PM

I dunno. I’m uncomfortable with the spouses of high-level judges being this involved in politics.

Jimbo3 on February 18, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Me too, but I doubt Clarence married her because she was a homebody. If you click the bio page, she’s done a lot of stuff which fits in with building something like libertycentral.org.

The organization is billed as being non-profit and non-tax-exempt, so, like SarahPAC, it will get just us smallfolk.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Ed, you work for Salem now, ask for an extra microphone for your guests.

WashJeff on February 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Jimbo3 on February 18, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Justice Thomas wasn’t elected and why would spouses be required to give up their rights to be involved in whatever they feel strongly about?

Cindy Munford on February 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Sorry, jimbo, I shouldn’t have used the word “us” above, knowing that everything she stands for is counter to everything you stand for.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Justice Thomas wasn’t elected and why would spouses be required to give up their rights to be involved in whatever they feel strongly about?

Cindy Munford on February 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM

The fact that he wasn’t elected doesn’t matter. The fact that he might decide a case before him in which one of the sides is a contributor to his wife’s PAC might. I do not doubt Justice Thomas’ honesty and integrity, but avoiding even the appearance of impropriety is paramount to the correct functioning of our Government.

That said, Dr. Thomas is well within her rights as a private citizen to do this. But have no doubts — every donation will be scrutinized by Thomas’ opponents, and every indication that there is a lack of transparency will be decried. I’m betting this organization will be quite public with their donor list for this reason.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM

good idea, educate and keep conservatives from buying into Constitutional Literalist crankery in some corners.

jp on February 18, 2010 at 4:30 PM

good idea, educate and keep conservatives from buying into Constitutional Literalist crankery in some corners. jp on February 18, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Any fool knows that the Constitution means whatever he wants it to mean.

Akzed on February 18, 2010 at 4:34 PM

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Usually when that happens the Justice recuses himself.
Justice Thomas did in in the decision forcing Virginia Military Institute to admit women, as Thomas’ son was a student there at the time.

rbj on February 18, 2010 at 4:36 PM

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Conflicts of interest and recusals happen all the time and even occasionally on SCOTUS.

Cindy Munford on February 18, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Justice Thomas wasn’t elected and why would spouses be required to give up their rights to be involved in whatever they feel strongly about?

Cindy Munford on February 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM
The fact that he wasn’t elected doesn’t matter. The fact that he might decide a case before him in which one of the sides is a contributor to his wife’s PAC might. I do not doubt Justice Thomas’ honesty and integrity, but avoiding even the appearance of impropriety is paramount to the correct functioning of our Government.

That said, Dr. Thomas is well within her rights as a private citizen to do this. But have no doubts — every donation will be scrutinized by Thomas’ opponents, and every indication that there is a lack of transparency will be decried. I’m betting this organization will be quite public with their donor list for this reason.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM
Conflicts of interest and recusals happen all the time and even occasionally on SCOTUS.

Cindy Munford on February 18, 2010 at 4:44 PM

–No offense taken. I understand that he wasn’t elected and that you can’t expect a spouse not to do the things they love. But it’s a bit more politicizing of the court system than I’d like to see. I mean, wouldn’t you be concerned if the spouse of one of the other justices worked for ACORN or some liberal organization?

Jimbo3 on February 18, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Jimbo3 on February 18, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Think of all the judges and their spouses, do you think that any of them might be involved in something that one of us might object to? I think that is why lawyers trying cases find out who the presiding judge will be and what conflicts might arise. As noted above Justice Thomas recused himself from the Tech case because his son was a student there. That said, I am not unsympathetic to the concerns.

Cindy Munford on February 18, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Jimbo3 on February 18, 2010 at 5:24 PM
Think of all the judges and their spouses, do you think that any of them might be involved in something that one of us might object to? I think that is why lawyers trying cases find out who the presiding judge will be and what conflicts might arise. As noted above Justice Thomas recused himself from the Tech case because his son was a student there. That said, I am not unsympathetic to the concerns.

Cindy Munford on February 18, 2010 at 5:34 PM

–Sure, and that’s what the conflict rules provide for. But there’s a difference (IMHO) between a spouse who’s a lawyer at a law firm handling a case (so there’s a conflict on the one case) versus a situation where the spouse works for an agency or business with a political mission. I just think it looks more troublesome. But you understand the concerns.

Jimbo3 on February 18, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Virginia Thomas is very bright and accomplished in her own right. Justice Thomas is of the highest character so there is no conflict of interest for her endeavor.

I wish her all and Liberty Central nothing but the best and very glad to see her sharing her talents and knowledge with the Taxed Enough Already Party participants!

Branch Rickey on February 18, 2010 at 11:55 PM