The New York Times outlines more about the source of Republican financial support for Justice Clarence Thomas' wife and a pet Georgia project — Dallas moneybags Harlan Crow. The best defense mustered for Thomas is from a Republican-friendly law professor who sees no outright ethics violation, but calls the arrangement "peculiar."
It's pretty simple. Conservative Republican Crow gave money to help establish a lobby group that employs Mrs. Thomas and which opposes health care reform. Justice Thomas is soon to rule — and you can guess how — on a case in which his wife's employer has a direct interest that she is paid directly to advocate. This make's the cosseting of Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia by the Koch brothers seem quite trivial in comparison, if still telling. But there's much more, including Crow's huge support for a charitable project backed by Thomas and a great deal of travel that Thomas may not have fully disclosed on financial reporting forms.
Health care, by the way, is not the only entanglement between Supreme Court cases and interests backed by Crow.
Appearances do count. Don't they?