It’s bad enough our current era throws enough chum to conspiracy theorists that the political waters of the early 21st century look like a piranha patch in a feeding frenzy without stories like this one:
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia seems to have died under suspicious circumstances, not because of whether or whether not he was killed by Obama, a heart attack, or natural causes, but because of where he died—at a posh resort in Texas, as a gift from “friend” who had benefited from a Supreme Court decision made in his favor only the year before.
Scalia was maxing and relaxing at the elite Cibolo Creek Ranch when LIFE, as they say, stepped in with other plans and the justice was found dead in his room Saturday morning. According to the Washington Post, Scalia was there at the personal invitation of—and very much on the tab of—J.B. Poindexter, owner of the J.B. Poindexter & Co. manufacturing firm, as well as the Cibolo Creek Ranch—a “30,000-acre hunting ranch, located around 30 miles from the Mexican border in the West Texas town of Shafter” that Poindexter also calls “home.”
But it may be we the people getting “shafted” in Shafter that has America’s conspiracy theorists banging their keyboards like Mozart in the grips of the Muse. Scalia and Poindexter were already known as a dubious duo for their association on an age discrimination suit against one of Poindexter & Co.’s subsidiaries, the Mic Group, declined by the Supreme Court the previous year.
Poindexter told the Post Scalia had been invited as a “personal guest” and was not charged a dime for his time there. While an associate close to the ranch states Poindexter does play host to guests for free a few times a year, the question still rises:
Of all the people in the world who could be invited for any number of reasons, isn’t it a little odd? Could a fella who’s had at least two cases come up against the Supreme Court recently not have the chance of doing so once again? Could neither Poindexter nor Scalia see a possible conflict of interest down the pike through such action?
Poindexter argues in the Post:
“I did not pay for the Justice’s trip to Cibolo Creek Ranch. He was an invited guest, along with a friend, just like 35 others.”
And what a telling list that must be…
Poindexter also made sure to state:
“The Justice was treated no differently by me, as no one was charged for activities room and board, beverages, etc. That is a 22-year policy.”
Poindexter wishes to point out the distinction between offering the resort up for free and not having paid for Scalia’s “gas money” to get there—a thin distinction, at best.
While Poindexter may have invited “35 others” along with Justice Scalia, it’s highly unlikely that those “35 others” are there soaking up the good life for free without being of some value to Poindexter. If they are not family or dear friends, there’s a reason they’re there.
Scalia wasn’t family to Poindexter, which leaves the conspiracy theorists to argue over whether the invite was a harmless matter between “dear old friends,” or a possibly shifty matter of corruption between a powerful Supreme Court justice and a man who saw value in bribing him.
Let the feeding frenzy begin.