Justice Clarence Thomas Should Resign in Light of Wife’s Actions

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Courtesy of Steve Petteway (Wikimedia PDM)

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should, at the very least, recuse himself in light of the revelation that his wife aggressively urged then Chief of Staff Mike Meadows to convince then President Donald Trump not to concede the 2020 election. Virginia Thomas, who goes by Ginni, repeatedly pressed Meadows to pursue overturning the presidential election, according to The Washington Post on Thursday. Democrats strongly voiced their concern over Justice Thomas making decisions in cases involving the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection and matters related to the 2024 election if Trump runs again — some are calling for him to recuse himself, whereas others call for his resignation.

Democrat Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon, Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii are a few legislators to speak out against Justice Thomas’ ability to remain neutral due to his wife’s political activities on Friday reports NBC News. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) clarified the party’s stance on the matter:

Ginni Thomas can do whatever crazy things she wants. But Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas cannot rule on a case that would disclose the crazy things Ginni Thomas was doing. That was a clear conflict of interest.

Justice
Courtesy of Gage Skidmore (Wikimedia CC0)

The House Select Committee investigating the events surrounding the attack on the U.S. Capitol has 29 text messages between Meadows and Ginni Thomas that took place from early November 2020 to mid-January 2021, reports CNN. While she admits attending the “Stop the Steal” rally preceding the riot, Ginni contends she “played no role” in planning the day. CNN first reported the texts; their content was first described by The Washington Post.

Wyden declared the judge’s behavior on the Supreme Court appears increasingly corrupt. “Justice Thomas participated in cases related to Donald Trump’s efforts to rig and then overturn the 2020 election, while his wife was pushing to do the same.”

The Oregon Senator suggested Thomas recuse himself from “any case related to the January 6th investigation,” the upcoming presidential election in 2024 — recusal at the bare minimum. Considering the quantity of ongoing criminal and civil cases related to the insurrection, this broad of a recusal would be unprecedented.

Justice
Courtesy of Brett Davis (Flickr CC0)

Justice Thomas already crossed the line when he failed to recuse himself from a January 6th case that sought the Supreme Court’s assistance to keep Trump’s White House records from the National Archives.

The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 to allow the records to be released. Justice Thomas was the only judge to vote against allowing the House Committee access to the documents as Sen. Kaine pointed out on Friday.

Republican leaders did not share the same concerns. Both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky lauded the longest-serving member of the court’s impartiality and ability to uphold the United States Constitution when asked about Justice Thomas by NBC News.

The Guide to Judiciary Policy details the code of conduct for U.S. judges outlines specific rules about integrity and ethics. The document further explains the appearance of impropriety relating to accepting gifts, outside business, and political activities. Even though the Supreme Court is supposed to be unbiased its Justices “consult the code, but they are not bound by it or required to follow it,” reports The Hill.

Based on Justice Thomas’ decision in Trump’s White House documents shows it is time for Congress to finally pass the legislation to change how the judiciary policy is used. Passing a law to enforce the code of conduct has failed in the past but now it seems more urgent.

Justice Thomas has served 30 years, 154 days as of March 26, 2022. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President George H.W. Bush (R) and sworn in on Oct. 23, 1991. The 83-year-old Justice was released from the hospital on Friday after treatment for “flu-like symptoms” this past week.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

The Hill: Wyden: Justice Thomas should recuse himself from Jan. 6 and 2024 election cases; by Jordain Carney
NBC News: Democrats call on Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from Jan. 6 cases due to his wife’s texts; by Dareh Gregorian
KATU 2 NBC News: Sen. Wyden calls on Justice Thomas to recuse himself from Jan. 6 insurrection cases
The Washington Post: Virginia Thomas urged White House chief to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 election, texts show; by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

Featured and Top Image by Steve Petteway Courtesy of Wikimedia – Public Domain License
First Inset Image by Gage Skidmore Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Brett Davis’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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