Justice Clarence Thomas criticized for opening Supreme Court up to private group

 July 10, 2023

Justice Clarence Thomas made headlines late last month for writing a blistering concurrence in which he demolished the logic behind affirmative action.

Thomas recently found himself in the spotlight again, this time over complaints that he opened up the Supreme Court to members of a private organization.  

Thomas allows Horatio Alger Association to induct new members in courtroom

According to a New York Times story published on Sunday, those allegations concern the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, a group to which Thomas belongs.

Thomas is said to induct new members in a ceremony held at the Supreme Court. He joined the organization over three decades ago after it supported his confirmation.

"They really treated him like a brother, like he mattered and, in return, he opened up the Supreme Court," conservative commentator and Thomas' friend Armstrong Williams was quoted as telling the Times.

Former Horatio Alger event producer and communications specialist Anthony Hutcherson told the Times that Thomas "really seemed to like the fact that everyone else enjoys being in the courtroom."

Group used images from ceremony to raise funds

However, the Times pointed to fundraising records that suggest the Horatio Alger Association has used images from the event to raise money for its scholarships.

This is despite the fact that in 2014 a Supreme Court official warned the group in an email that photographs taken within the courtroom were "for internal use only by the association" and "may not be used for any promotional or fund-raising purpose."

Revelations about Thomas' connection to the Horatio Alger Association come on the heels of a report by the left-wing outlet ProPublica concerning his relationship with conservative mega-donor Harlan Crow.

While Democrats slammed Thomas for taking expensive vacations with Crow, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham pointed out that they did not object to questionable behavior by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Lindsay Graham highlights Democrats' double standard

That included Ginsburg's acceptance in 2019 of a $1 million award that she could donate to organizations of her choosing.

Democrats were also untroubled in 1998 when she donated a signed copy of one of her decisions to the pro-abortion National Organization for Women so that it could auction off the document at a fundraiser.

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