President and CEO
Liberty Central is a non-profit conservative political advocacy group founded in 2009 by Virginia Thomas, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, Clarence Thomas. Virginia Thomas is the President and CEO.
Its declared purpose is stated on its website as "America’s Public Square. We Listen. We Inspire. We Activate ... to secure the blessings of liberty." The organization was promoted at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference as "an online community for those seeking to "preserve freedom and reaffirm the core founding principles." Ed Morrissey, a prominent conservative blogger who runs Hotair.com, said the Liberty Central site would provide education in history and the Constitution for tea party activists.
The group was founded with seed money of $550,000 coming from two donors whose names were undisclosed. In a February 2011 article, Politico reported that the initial $500,000 contribution came from Dallas real estate investor and conservative philanthropist Harlan Crow
Liberty Central activities have included hosting a live web cast on October 20, 2010, in conjunction with the Family Research Council to protest the January 2011 expiration of tax cuts that were passed in 2001 and 2003.
Thomas has been criticized for her involvement in Liberty Central because someone who contributes to the group may have a case before the Supreme Court. However, there is no law limiting what Thomas can do, and according to some legal experts Supreme Court Justices are not required to recuse themselves from cases where they may have a conflict of interest.
On October 21, 2010, Thomas was specifically criticized for taking a position, via Liberty Central, on an issue that was likely to come before the Supreme Court - whether the 2010 health care legislation was unconstitutional. A memo signed by Thomas that called for the repeal of the law and that was posted on the Liberty Central website was removed following the criticism. A Liberty Central spokesperson explained that Thomas had not personally reviewed the memo and that it been mistakenly approved by a staff member, and had been circulated by another group, the Conservative Action Project.
- "FRC Action and Liberty Central to Host Live Webcast on Looming Massive Tax Hikes". Washington D.C.: PR Newswire. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "About Us « Liberty Central". Libertycentral.org. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- Tony Mauro (2010-02-23). "Virginia Thomas Launching 'Liberty Central' Site". The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. The Legal Times. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "Justice's wife heads political group". UPI.com. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- KENNETH P. VOGEL; MARIN COGAN; JOHN BRESNAHAN (4 February 2011). "Justice Thomas’s wife Virginia Thomas now a lobbyist". POLITICO. p. 2. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
- MIKE McINTIRE (18 June 2011). "Friendship of Justice and Magnate Puts Focus on Ethics". NY Times. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
- Kathleen Hennessey (2010-10-22). "Virginia Thomas' group backs off on calling healthcare law unconstitutional". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "Thomas’s Wife Is Off Memo List". The New York Times. Bloomberg News. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- Liberty Central Website
- Jackie Calmes (2010-10-09). "Activism of Thomas's Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "Conservative Spotlight: Liberty Central". Human Events. 2010-06-26. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "Ginni Thomas’s Threat to Ordered Liberty - By Shannen Coffin - The Corner - National Review Online". Nationalreview.com. 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- Faughnan, Brian (2010-10-14). "Rush Limbaugh Defends Liberty Central Against Media Attacks « Liberty Central". Libertycentral.org. Retrieved 2010-10-23.