Op-Ed: Justice Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself is thumbing his nose at the law — a law he once defended.
Jeffrey Toobin – USA Today – May 12, 2016
I was in high school and for several years, there were two high school girls, Rachel and Sarah, who liked to talk about politics. One night, Rachel told me about a judge.
She claimed that the judge, John Roberts, was a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative, constitutionalist organization. It was not true. Roberts was from Michigan; he never had a membership application in the Federalist Society. Nor did he belong to any conservative group. Then, she added, the judge had made an offer to a young woman who was dating him. If she became pregnant, he would return her child.
This was the rumor that had spread, spread throughout the student body, that Roberts had an unwanted sex life. In fact, he was an utterly decent member of the Federalist Society, and he did not have a young girlfriend, which he quickly dispelled.
In a letter written in 2002 to the editors of the National Review as he was preparing to retire from the federal bench, Roberts wrote, “I have been deeply and deeply troubled by recent revelations of impropriety and other violations of the judicial process by a substantial number of federal judges.”
But he did not mention his wife, who was a high school teacher who was well known to high school students and parents. Or his former law school classmate, who had accused him of sexual harassment. Or his friend, a former law professor, who had complained to the judge that the judge had engaged in “sexual banter” at their law school dinners. Or his wife’s complaint of sexual harassment by her boss. Or the judge’s colleague, a friend of the judge, who said the judge had propositioned him to go to bed with him.
The judge was a man of integrity. He had been the victim of racial discrimination, and he had been one of the main figures in the sexual harassment cases