Donald Trump is an infinite source of inspiration for people like me who write about business ethics. While he manages to break just about every accepted rule of business conduct, he has been particularly generous with his disregard of conflicts of interests.
So it is not entirely surprising to learn that his chief of staff (his 4th and last), in the days after the November 2020 elections, was strategizing, over text messages, with the wife of Supreme Court Justice Thomas, on how to overturn these elections, while Justice Thomas was hearing cases involving the very same election results. In one such case, Justice Thomas had to decide if specific White House records, which included his wife’s texts, should be turned over to the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. Thomas did not recuse himself and was the only Justice on the Court of the opinion that the White House records should not be turned over.
Conflict of interests rules are simple: (1) disclose the conflict and (2) recuse yourself from the decision-making process. Even grade-school students understand the common sense underlying these rules.
Yet, a sitting Supreme Court Justice seems unwilling to honor them.
No surprise that the Supreme Court approval rating is down to 40%.