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Impeach Clarence Thomas

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Justice Clarence Thomas
Did Justice Clarence Thomas advise his wife on strategy to keep Trump in the presidency?

This past week the media gained access to a series of text messages between Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The content of these messages revealed Thomas’s attempts to get Meadows to take a more active role in overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election. With a combination of conspiracy theories and dubious legal maneuvers, Thomas suggested several ways that Trump could remain in office.

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While no one should be held accountable for the actions of others, including a spouse, it’s Clarence Thomas’s questionable rulings in cases that involved election disputes that calls his conduct into question. Rather than recuse himself, Thomas was the lone dissenter in two of these cases.

While this isn’t the first time there has been a single justice disagreeing with the majority opinion, given the context of the text messages, it certainly calls into question the motives behind Justice Thomas’s rulings. Had one of the more liberal justices done the same thing, Republicans in Congress would have been apoplectic.

Instead, they took to the airwaves to defend Justice Thomas as a fair and impartial justice. Both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) saw no reason for Thomas to recuse himself in either the Pennsylvania lawsuit that sought to overturn the 2020 election results, or the bid to prevent the January 6th Committee investigating the insurrection from obtaining documents from Trump. Nor would they expect Thomas to refuse to take part in any future cases involving Donald Trump if he should decide to run again in 2024.

Republicans have a long history of defending Clarence Thomas. It was during his confirmation hearings that they backed him as he faced sexual harassment allegations from law professor Anita Hill. It turns out this was good practice as they were once again forced to defend a Supreme Court nominee as Brett Kavanaugh faced allegations of sexual assault during his confirmation hearings.

The misdeeds of their own nominees didn’t stop them from attempting to smear current Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. During her hearings, Republicans attempted to paint her as being soft on crime, particularly when it came to sentencing those convicted of child pornography or sexual abuse of a minor.

Republicans seem to have an odd obsession with child sexual abuse. It’s considered the most heinous of crimes even among criminals. So, any chance they get they try to apply the horrid label to their Democratic opponents, they do so. From Pizzagate to Jackson’s hearing, this Q Anon inspired smear has been used numerous times. Republicans ignore the fact one of their own, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, is currently under investigation for alleged sex trafficking and unlawfully dealing with a minor.

So, Republicans are quite used to defending their own while vilifying Democrats for their perceived misdeeds. It’s this mindset that will prevent Thomas from being removed from the bench via the impeachment process, the same as it saved Donald Trump from escaping Congressional punishment for his illegal actions.

Yet, as more texts between Ginni Thomas and Mark Meadows are released, the question of why Clarence Thomas didn’t recuse himself in cases involving the 2020 presidential election becomes more puzzling. One such text has Ginni Thomas referring to consulting her “best friend” in regard to how to next proceed in her fight to keep Trump in office. In interviews, Clarence Thomas can be heard to call his wife Ginni his “best friend” which begs the question, did she confide in her husband as she sought the means to overturn the election results?

Given Justice Thomas’s rulings in these cases, this explanation seems weak. If he did indeed use his position to rule in favor of Donald Trump at his wife’s bidding, this would certainly be grounds for removing him from the bench. By compromising his principles to uphold the Constitution to curry his wife’s favor, Thomas is damaging the court’s reputation as the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not Constitutional.

Impeaching a Supreme Court justice is a rarity. It has occurred only once in American history when Justice Samuel Chase was impeached in 1805. Like the two Trump impeachments, the measure failed to pass in the Senate, allowing Chase to remain on the bench.

Given the highly partisan atmosphere in Congress, it’s highly unlikely that Thomas will be removed via the impeachment process. Forcing him to step down from the bench is equally improbable. Political pressure from Republicans to prevent President Biden from getting another bite at the apple by appointing another Supreme Court justice would be tremendous.

Despite this, Democrats should keep pressuring Thomas, possibly by even threatening legal action against his wife by referring her to the Justice Department. Failing to do so prior to the midterms would allow Mitch McConnell to once again prevent a liberal judge from being appointed to the Supreme Court if he were to regain control of the Senate.

Impeaching Clarence Thomas would, indeed, send a message that no one is above the law. However, this could backfire on Democrats as they are again portrayed as using impeachment as a political tool rather than a necessary process to hold those in office accountable.

Regardless of the process, the integrity of the Supreme Court has been irreplaceably damaged. Like the election process, it may be something that is irretrievable as democracy teeters on the edge of collapse.

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5 commentaires

Mark M. Bello
Mark M. Bello
28 mars 2022

As much as I dislike Thomas and his rulings, there is no evidence of an impeachable offense. Not even close. One important question is "are there more texts and some damning evidence that his wife is a go-between for him and Meadows/Trump?" On the record thus far, we are stuck with him.

Mark M. Bello
Mark M. Bello
29 mars 2022
En réponse à

I don't disagree with any of that. However, so far, his behavior doesn't rise to the level of an impeachable offense, especially when we consider that in THIS congress, there is no way to get to a 2/3 majority vote.

Chief Justice Roberts, if he had any stones, should weigh in (not sure he has the power—any Supreme Court experts out there?) and require Thomas to recuse himself on these issues. To date, Thomas has been a minority of one, so no harm, no foul, despite his suspicious dissenting opinions. If I see more texts that show he was more personally involved in her texts and other insurrectionist behavior, I may have a different opinion. On the facts as we…

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