Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, announced today she will serve as a consultant to a new organization created by an alliance between Liberty Central, the conservative advocacy group she created earlier this year, and the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty. The Patrick Henry Center's longtime president Gary Aldrich will head both organizations. A press release detailing the new arrangement can be found here (.pdf.)
Meanwhile, in an interview published today by The Daily Caller, Virginia Thomas said she resigned as leader of Liberty Central on Thursday. But she said it was "laughable" to suggest that her change in roles at the organization was the result of adverse publicity about an October phone call she made to Anita Hill, the woman who once accused Justice Thomas of sexually harassing her. Virginia Thomas said the call was "a private matter," but added, "it was probably a mistake on my part."
Thomas's leadership in the group had drawn criticism because her funding sources were not revealed, and because it was taking positions on issues -- including the healthcare reform law -- that could come before her husband as a justice. In the Daily Caller interview, she said that was not the reason for her change in positions. “There are no problems with me doing what I constitutionally can do as a U.S. citizen,” she said. “I didn’t lose my constitutional rights when I married a judge.” But she did say,“It’s better for the organization not to be centered around a personality.” She added that “if you look at any of the established conservative groups, it’s hard for them to pull away from some of their leaders.”
Liberty Central cast itself as "America's Public Square," a central information and education exchange aimed at assisting conservative activists including those in the Tea Party movement. Her press release said the new alliance was made in the wake of "wildly encouraging midterm election results."
The Patrick Henry Center, according to its mission statement, "is committed to fostering, promoting, and advocating the restoration of Liberty as the primary object of American society." Aldrich, its founder, was an FBI agent who wrote critically about President Bill Clinton. In a letter to followers about the new alliance, Virginia Thomas urged readers to visit the Patrick Henry Center site to see what Aldrich "has been up to since blowing the whistle on a previous left-wing president."