Dear Commons Community,
The constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation will
surely be the most watched activity of the U.S. Supreme Court this coming
year. Besides the usual battle lines of right versus left leaning opinions is the question of conflicts of interest of Justices Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan.
The Huffington Post is reporting that Democrats are calling for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself because of his wife’s involvement with several groups that opposed the health care overhaul. As stated in the article:
“From what we have already seen, the line between your impartiality and you and your wife’s financial stake in the overturn of health care reform is blurred,” 74 Democrats wrote Thomas in February …
One lawmaker who signed the letter, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., said she feels even more strongly now that Thomas has a conflict. She wants the Justice Department to investigate Thomas for omitting his wife’s employers, including the Heritage Foundation and the tea-party linked Liberty Central, from his annual financial disclosure reports.
Republicans meanwhile have serious concerns about Elena Kagan’s involvement because she was solicitor general during the crafting of the healthcare legislation.
“Republican lawmakers recently have stepped up their effort against Kagan, complaining that the Justice Department has not fully revealed Kagan’s involvement in planning the response to challenges to the law..
‘The public has a right to know both the full extent of Justice Kagan’s involvement with this legislation while she was solicitor general, as well as her previously stated views and opinions about the legislation while she was serving as solicitor general,’ the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said Tuesday in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.”
Neither Justice Thomas or Kagan have given any indication that they will recuse themselves from the case.