Shocked at Menendez (Updated)

On the talking heads programs this morning nearly every individual interviewed on every network to which I listened was asked whether New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez should resign in the wake of his having been charged with illegal corruption. Nearly every one regardless of political party said he should resign. The more discreet said something along the lines of “he should consider very carefully…” which I interpreted as a way of saying he should resign without actually saying as much.

I found it amusing in a perverse sort of way. They all knew he was corrupt. Now they’re just doing damage control for a simple reason: if every corrupt senator were convicted or otherwise left office, you couldn’t get a bridge game together let alone do what is laughingly referred to as “the people’s business”. Sen. Menendez just violated what is called the “Goldilocks rule”.

My own preference would be that only constituents should be able to lobby senators and representatives. Foreign governments and companies are by definition not constituents. Violation of that rule should be grounds for removal.


In the interest of fairness I think that what Justice Thomas has been doing may not be illegal or technically unethical but it is corrupt. If Supreme Court Justices want to lead “lifestyles of the rich and famous”, they should resign from the court and get jobs working for big law firms.

3 comments… add one
  • steve Link

    Menendez took money to influence govt outcomes. Thomas has taken money and has changed his position on cases for which he actually wrote the majority opinion to be in line with what the people giving him money want. This from a guy who seems to make it a point to not change his opinions. I am not seeing a lot of difference. Thomas could say he was going to change his opinion anyway and the money did not influence him but Menendez could also claim that the money he took didnt influence his actions. They should both go but SCOTUS has no ethics rules, no one is going to prosecute them and they are impervious to impeachment . Thank heavens they have lifetime appointments.


  • PD Shaw Link

    What job suitable for a former SCOTUS that would not itself be cashing in on the seat? One of the points Justice Stevens made about term limits is the need to address what to do with former Justices to avoid the Abe Fortas situation of getting paid to argue to his former bench mates. (Perhaps the emphasis should be on the modern court, as opposed to earlier when elected politicians held seats and could presumably re-enter electoral politics (like Charles Evans Hughes who resigned to run for POTUS)

  • steve Link

    I think we should add stupidity to the list of charges for Menendez. Having large amounts of cash and gold bars at home just screams guilty. Thomas did it the right way. Have your rich “friends” buy you a luxury mobile home, pay for your kids private school, expensive vacations, private jets, fancy meals. Much harder to catch and you dont have front page pictures of stacks of cash.


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