Episode 128

Clarence Thomas Ethics Scandal, After School Satan Club, Andrew Tate & Toxic Masculinity

Ravi, Rikki, and Joe talk about the latest scandal to hit the United States Supreme Court: Associate Justice Clarence Thomas accepting lavish travel itineraries from a wealthy Republican donor (and friend) without including it on his public financial disclosures. Unethical? Or illegal? We try to get to the bottom of it. Then, just for the hell of it, the trio talk about the ACLU’s newest legal fight to allow an After School Satan Club to meet in an East Pennsylvania school district. Finally, the group caps off the episode with a discussion about toxic masculinity and why self-proclaimed misogynist Andrew Tate has captured the attention of so many young men.


Introducing The Branch (The Branch, 4/12/23)

Clarence Thomas Gifts [3:35]
Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire (ProPublica, 4/6/23)
Justice Clarence Thomas accepted several luxury trips paid for by GOP megadonor, ProPublica report finds (CNN, 4/6/23)
Senate Democrats call for investigation into Justice Clarence Thomas (BBC, 3/11/23)
Senate Democrats urge chief justice to investigate Thomas’s unreported gifts (Washington Post, 4/10/23)
Justice Thomas Says He Was Advised Lavish Gifts Did Not Need to Be Reported (The New York Times, 4/7/23)
Justices Must Disclose Travel and Gifts Under New Rules (The New York Times, 3/29/23)
The Clarence Thomas scandal isn’t about breaking the law: It shows how broken ethics standards are on the Supreme Court (Fortune, 4/7/23)
Clarence Thomas’s brazen violation of ethics rules, briefly explained (Vox, 4/7/23)
Supreme Court justices face new disclosure requirements for gifts, free trips (The Hill, 3/29/23)
Clarence Thomas Is as Free as Ever to Treat His Seat Like a Winning Lottery Ticket (The New York Times, 4/11/23)
Inequality Ahoy! On the Meaning of the Superyacht (The New York Times, 4/11/23)
Opinion: The Clarence Thomas revelations are the last straw. It’s time for Congress to act (CNN, 4/7/23)
The Smearing of Clarence Thomas (Wall Street Journal, 4/7/23)
Supreme Court justices are allowed to have friends (The Hill, 4/10/23)
The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (U.S. Government Publishing Office)
Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges (United States Courts)
It’s time for Clarence Thomas to come clean (Washington Post, 4/7/23)
If the Law Is Legitimate, Clarence Thomas Must Stand Trial (The American Prospect, 4/10/23)
Legal questions remain that Clarence Thomas can answer under oath (MSNBC, 4/10/23)

ACLU + Satan Club [19:49]
ACLU files lawsuit against Saucon Valley School District over After School Satan Club (Morning Call, 3/31/23)
After School Satan Club co-founder defends his mission: ‘Not looking to convert’ kids (New York Post, 12/16/22)
Satan Clubs Should Be Allowed in Schools (Reason, 4/11/23)
ACLU Sues Saucon Valley School District for Prohibiting After School Satan Club from Meeting in District Facilities (ACLU, 3/30/23)
There is No Constitutional Right to Satanism (The American Conservative, 3/6/23)
Free Speech for Satanism? (Newsweek, 2/24/22)
ACLU slaps Pennsylvania school district with lawsuit for banning After School Satan Club (Fox News, 4/2/23)
Is the ‘After School Satan Club’ legal? Legal analysts say it is. (13NewsNow, 2/17/23)
What is an After School Satan Club? (NewsNation, 2/21/23)
What is the Satanic Temple? A far cry from SF’s Church of Satan (SFGate, 1/9/19)
Jesse Watters LOSES Debate To Satanic Temple Leader (The Kyle Kulinski Show, 12/21/22)
ACLU sues district over ‘After School Satan Club’ (WNEP, 3/31/23)
Saucon Valley sticking by decision to not allow After School Satan Club (WNEP, 3/7/23)
School board meeting held in Saucon Valley amid ‘After School Satan Club’ controversy (WNEP, 2/28/23)
Satanic Smokescreen: Good News Clubs Push Back on ‘After School Satan’ Clubs (CBN, 2/14/23)
The Satanic Temple v. Saucon Valley School District, Complaint (US District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 3/30/23)
Email from ACLU: Unconstitutional denial of application to use school facilities for After School
Satan Club meetings
(ACLU, 3/3/23)

Andrew Tate + Toxic Masculinity [29:33]
The war on ‘toxic masculinity’ makes struggling boys, men prey for Andrew Tate (New York Post, 4/5/23)
Richard Reeves: “We have to rescript masculinity” (The New Statesman, 11/2/22)
Who is Andrew Tate, ‘king of toxic masculinity,’ accused of trafficking? (The Washington Post, 1/10/23)
Andrew Tate released from Romanian jail, placed under house arrest (Fox News, 4/1/23)
The Problem With a Fight Against Toxic Masculinity (The Atlantic, 2/27/19)
What Is Toxic Masculinity? (The New York Times, 1/22/19)
American Men Suffer a Friendship Recession (National Review, 7/6/21)
The State of American Friendship: Change, Challenges, and Loss (Survey Center on American Life/AEI, 6/8/21)
How to Fight Toxic Masculinity (Scientific American, 6/26/19)