Though our elected and appointed Federal officials swear to support our Constitution, some apparently believe it does not apply to them. Our Constitution, except for our periodic elections, has only general guidance regarding how our republic can hold politicians and appointed officials accountable. Article 1 regarding Congress requires “each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualification of its own members”, “and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members…… under such penalties” and to “punish its members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two third, expel a member”. Article 2 regarding the Executive Branch dictates that “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”. Article 3 on the Judicial Branch offers “The judges, both of the Supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas cannot get off the front-page news these days. Between 2003 and 2007, Clarence forgot to claim his wife’s nearly $700 thousand annual salary from the Heritage Foundation on his Supreme Court annual financial disclosure forms and instead checked a box labeled “none”. Nor did he report selling his mother’s house in Savannah to billionaire Harlan Crowe in 2014, who then fixed up the property for Clarence’s mother who still lives in that house rent free today. In 2014, associate Supreme Court Justices made $244,400/yr. At that salary, Clarence, and his employed wife, Ginni, could certainly afford to own and repair his mother’s modest $133 thousand house. This makes no sense — why? Furthermore, this violates a federal disclosure law passed after Watergate requiring justices and other officials to disclose real estate sales. The periodic vacations via Harlan Crow’s private jet and superyacht to exotic locations were similarly undeclared. At what point is obvious influence, bribery? I guess the Founders should have been more explicit regarding “good behavior.”