Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is retiring her title as head of Liberty Central, a conservative group with Tea Party ties that she launched earlier this year amid much scrutiny.
“She’ll take a back seat so that Liberty Central can continue with its mission without any of the distractions,” the group’s spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll told the Washington Post Monday. “After discussing it with the board, Mrs. Thomas determined that it was best for the organization.”
Apart from the distraction of having a wife of a Supreme Court justice aggressively tackling initiatives determined to beat back the agenda of Barack Obama — whom she called a “tyrant” in a recent New York Times profile detailing the potential conflict of interest in her political activism and her husband’s professional responsibility — the financial backing of Thomas’s group has also raised questions.
Funded primarily by two secret donors, whose identities were concealed by new practices set forth in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Thomas’s group was immediately injected with more than half-a-million dollars, which propelled it to the forefront of conservative activism, but not without significant concern that the anonymous status of Liberty Central’s benefactors could potentially complicate future rulings by Justice Thomas.
All political controversy aside, Thomas also attracted attention last month when she contacted Anita Hill, the woman who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and asked her to apologize.