In a wildly inappropriate move, Trump took a meeting with Justice Clarence Thomas' wife, Ginni Thomas. They even discussed issues that are soon to be before the Supreme Court.
Clarence Thomas' wife, Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, has long used her platform to spread hard-right views and even conspiracy theories. She doesn't just have the ear of her husband, though. She also gets private meetings with Trump to push her agenda.
The New York Times reported that last week Ginni Thomas got a group of ultra-conservative activists a meeting with Trump. The meeting was clearly a chance for her to push her hyper-partisan, hyper-bigoted agenda.
One person that attended the meeting used the time to say that women shouldn't serve in the military because they have smaller lung capacity and less muscle mass than men. Another said that gay marriage is wrecking the United States. The group also went after transgender people serving in the military.
The meeting was decidedly odd for other reasons. When the meeting opened, Thomas told the White House staff members in attendance that she didn't trust them. Thomas' group has some candidates they've picked for administration jobs, but they believe that the current White House staff is blocking those appointments.
Meetings with Trump aren't the only place Ginni Thomas highlights her hard-right views: She's shared right-wing Facebook posts about the Parkland high school student gun control activists, alleging that some shadowy group is bankrolling the students; and she also posted about Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who faces allegations he was aware of numerous reports of sexual assault when he coached wrestling at Ohio State, saying he was under attack because "he threatens the elite."
A meeting over whether transgender people should serve in the military is especially problematic given that the Supreme Court, a few days after Thomas and her group met with Trump, ruled on the transgender troop ban. Justice Clarence Thomas joined the conservative majority in allowing Trump's bigoted ban to go into effect while cases proceed through the lower courts.
There are no rules as to when Supreme Court justices must recuse themselves and remove themselves from hearing a case. Where his wife is concerned, Justice Thomas seems very disinclined to recuse. He didn't do so in Bush v. Gore, even though Ginni was collecting applications from people who wanted to work in the Bush administration if Bush won. He didn't do so in the Obamacare case, even though Ginni Thomas's group, Liberty Central, lobbied Congress to repeal the health care law.
Both Justice Thomas and Trump display a breathtaking disregard for ethics and norms, and now Ginni Thomas is able to exploit the failings of both of them.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.