The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Mark Davis during a Newsweek debate about SCOTUS ethics. You can listen to the podcast here:

In an objective vacuum there’s the question of whether or not any justice gets to have rich friends. If that’s a no, then okay, then there is stigma around all of this as there would be if Elena Kagan were to enjoy similar largess from George Soros. This is my consistency test. I think justices get to have friends, and I don’t pretend that they are ruling because of what their rich friends believe. Clarence Thomas is a constitutionalist. He’s friends with Harlan Crowe. There’s nothing mysterious about that. If I were to learn that Elena Kagan or Sonya Sotomayor was to be enjoying the largess of a resort owned by George Soros, I wouldn’t care at all because I would figure that she was just hanging with like-minded people.

Questions Abound
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas poses for an official portrait.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Now, if there’s any evidence that any justice is discussing cases with the rich friend, or the rich friend is trying to lobby the justice to bring about a desired result, that would be another matter. But there is no reason to believe that’s what happened here. There are rules for this, and they appear to be vague, and they should probably be bolstered. Justice Thomas said he asked about that. They didn’t say this was anything that he needed to report, so he didn’t report it. Now, if that stinks to high heaven, which it may, especially with those who despise him, then I will gladly join a reasonable retroactive group that says all other things being equal.

Mark Davis is a syndicated talk show host for the Salem Media Group on 660AM The Answer in Dallas-Ft. Worth, and a columnist for the Dallas Morning News and Townhall.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.