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Retired SCOTUS Justice Breyer Stands Up for Embattled Clarence Thomas – Critics Are Not Impressed



Critics are responding to retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer‘s remarks voicing support for his embattled “friend,” Justice Clarence Thomas, who allegedly hid possibly millions of dollars of luxury gifts over the course of decades from a billionaire conservative megadonor.

Justice Thomas, according to investigations from ProPublica, wrongly and possibly unlawfully did not disclose at least hundreds of thousands of dollars of travel on private planes and a yacht, vacations at the billionaire’s homes, clothing, and food. He also failed to disclose that same billionaire, who reportedly has ties to organizations with business before the court, purchased Thomas’ mother’s home for an elevated price, allowing her to stay in the home rent free.

Breyer, at a federal circuit court conference in Boston, told attendees when asked that Justice Thomas is “a friend of mine” and a “man of integrity,” as he also denounced efforts to strengthen ethics standards for the nation’s top jurists, according to Bloomberg Law.

“As far as I’m concerned, I sat next to him on the bench for 28 years. I like him. He’s a friend of mine. I’ve never seen him do anything underhanded or say anything underhanded,” Breyer said.

READ MORE: ‘Clarence Thomas Should Be Subpoenaed’ Says Top Democrat as Senate Plans Hearing

“’My personal point of view is he’s a man of integrity,’ Breyer told attendees at the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit event.”

The event coincidentally was held the same day as U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin sent a strongly-worded invitation to Chief Justice John Roberts, urging him to formally testify before the Committee on the “decade-long” ethics challenges the Supreme Court justices have created.

PBS NewsHour Supreme Court analyst Marcia Coyle interviewed Breyer on stage, and asked about Supreme Court ethics.

“Breyer acknowledged that the justices can make mistakes, but pushed back on the criticism that the Supreme Court does nothing on ethics,” Bloomberg reports. “Breyer said if an issue comes up, he views it as ‘whatever applies to all the judges applies to me.’”

Breyer apparently pushed back against a code of ethics for the Supreme Court, noting that if a justice recuses themself, unlike lower courts, there is no justice who can take their place.

Critics are blasting Justice Breyer for playing defense for the challenged Thomas.

The Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal asked, “what was Breyer gonna say?”

READ MORE: Clarence Thomas Claimed Up to $750k From Real Estate Firm That Shut Down in 2006: Report

Mockingly, he offered this sardonic response: “I sat next to him for 28 years and, man, the stories I could tell. Crazy stuff, man. We’d be hearing a case and he’d lean over and say ‘That litigant they’re paid for this watch. It’s nice. I can hook you up.’ Crazy stuff.”

“I thought about telling somebody, maybe the chief, about all the underhanded stuff I saw Thomas do while sitting in open court,” added Mystal, continuing to pretend to quote Breyer. “But I didn’t. Maybe that was wrong, I don’t know. But the truth of the matter is: the watch really was very nice.”

MSNBC columnist and editor James Downie offered this insight into Justice Breyer: “A reminder that, while on the court, Breyer was one of three justices to trade individual stocks. Even Thomas doesn’t do that, so far as we know. And Breyer failed to recuse himself in multiple cases where he owned stock in one of the parties,: he wrote, pointing to a report from the nonpartisan group Fix the Court.

“The problem with Supreme Court justices, both current and former, is that their prestige and power all flows from the false perception that the Supreme Court is a noble institution that isn’t run by partisan hacks,” said Vox’s Ian Millhiser, who has written two books on the Supreme Court.

“I’ll say this for Breyer: He’s really strengthened my suspicion that the rot is institutional and that we should be prepared to learn that other Justices have corrupt arrangements with the plutocratic class,” offered attorney and writer Luppe B. Lupin.

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance wrote: “I’d like to cross examine the witness to get his opinion on each item that has come to light: vacations, house sales, failures to disclosure, income claimed from closed businesses. Are these all okay? Still a man of integrity? Asking for a concerned country.”

Writer and editor Jay Willis blasted Breyer: “Even if condemnation of Thomas is too much to expect from Breyer, even a simple ‘the allegations are very serious and I hope my colleagues or the Senate take steps to protect the Court’s integrity’ would be a million times better than this treacly horseshit.”


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Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately



Within hours of Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House late Tuesday afternoon, his hand-picked acting successor, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ordered Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol Hill offices “by tomorrow.”

McHenry, whose title technically now is “Speaker Pro Tempore,” is a staunch McCarthy ally who worked diligently behind the scenes in January to help the now-former Speaker get elected on the fifteenth attempt, had an aide issue the order.

“‘Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,’ wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee,” Politico reported Tuesday night. “The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker ‘for speaker office use,’ the email said.”

Politico adds that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”

Pelosi, who was honored with the title “Speaker Emerita” in 2022 by the House Steering and Policy Committee in an effort to help unite the House, did not vote for or against McCarthy’s ouster. She remained in California to attend the funeral of her friend and colleague, the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

READ MORE: ‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order

But Pelosi, the first and only woman Speaker of the House, who served from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023, did not take McHenry’s order lying down.

“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time.”

“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” She noted.

“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”

READ MORE: ‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster


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‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order



Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.

Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.

“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”

Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”

“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.

Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”

And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.

Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.

After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”

“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”

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‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster



After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.

“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.

Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”

READ MORE: McCarthy Ousted as Speaker in Historic First as Republicans Vow Vengeance Against Gaetz: ‘Kiss My A–’

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”

“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.

“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”

Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

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