NEW YORK TIMES
November 15, 2010
Justice Thomas’s Wife May Be Exiting Advocacy Group
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR
WASHINGTON — Liberty Central, the conservative organization founded last year by Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, appears to be confronting major changes, including the possibility that Ms. Thomas will step aside.
A person with knowledge of her plans said Monday that he believed Ms. Thomas planned to resign as chief executive of the advocacy group, which worked to harness the energy of the Tea Party movement. It was unclear what role, if any, she would retain with the group, which she founded last year to oppose what she characterized as the “tyranny” of President Obama’s agenda.
The Post also reported that Ms. Thomas’s group, a nonprofit, appeared ready to merge with another conservative organization, the
“There are many opportunities being presented to
Ms. Field added, “The sources of this story appear to be people without full understanding of the facts.”
As the spouse of a sitting Supreme Court justice with an active political life herself, Ms. Thomas has played an unusual role in
“Liberty Central will be bigger than the Tea Party movement,” she told Fox News in April, at a Tea Party rally in
Ms. Thomas had spoken at a Virginia Tea Party event in October, delivering a call to arms on behalf of conservative principles to more than 2,000 people.
But Ms. Thomas’s political activism has become an increasingly visible issue as experts in legal ethics questioned the appearance of the wife of a sitting justice accepting large contributions on behalf of her organization.
To start the group, Ms. Thomas accepted two donations of $500,000 and $50,000. Because her organization is a nonprofit covered by a particular part of the tax code, it is not required to identify the donors.
Ms. Thomas also made headlines last month after telephoning Anita F. Hill, who accused Justice Thomas of sexual harassment at his confirmation hearings in 1991, and asking for an apology. Ms. Hill declined.
As of Monday morning, a video by Ms. Thomas remained on the main fund-raising page for the
“Our goal is to equip citizen leaders to lobby for liberty in as little as 3-5 minutes a day,” it says.
There has been no indication of a change on the Web site of the Patrick Henry group either. A spokesman for that organization responded to an inquiry by saying, “Thanks for reaching out, unfortunately I have no information and am not able to confirm any reports.”
If Ms. Thomas leaves
“Everybody in the conservative movement understands that groups and individuals come and go,” Mr. Shirley said, “but it is the ideas that are important and carry on. Mrs. Thomas contributed greatly to those ideas being carried forward.”
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs