Summer in France…..

Remember Manuel Noriega? The former Panamanian dictator is back in the
headlines again: The U.S. reportedly extradited the disgraced leader
from his federal prison just outside Miami to France, via an overnight
Air France flight, as he prepares to stand trial there on money
laundering charges. The French claim he laundered around $3 million in
drug proceeds through luxury apartment purchases in Paris and could face
up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Meanwhile, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton signed a surrender warrant for Noriega after all court
challenges to his extradition were resolved. Noriega was dethroned as
Panama’s leader after a 1989 U.S. military invasion and put on trial for
drug racketeering.

Judicial Conflict?

Clarence Thomas’ Wife Joins Tea Party

Virginia Thomas is no ordinary activist. In fact, she’s the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and she has founded a Tea Party-linked group, which could stretch the court’s traditional sense of impartiality. Thomas’ new group is called Liberty Central Inc. It’s a nonprofit lobbying group set to issue score cards for Congress members during the November election. The group and work doesn’t violate ethical rules for judges, but it could potentially be grounds for conflict of interest for her husband. Liberty Central may be a nonpartisan group, but it leans toward conservative principles and its nonprofit title allows it to raise unlimited amounts of corporate money without disclosing its donors. The group is set to launch fully in May.