Americans have had their share of impeachment trials in Congress over the past two years. Of course, those have been in the form of presidential impeachments. Now, a growing chorus is demanding that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas face the music of impeachment.
Thomas, who has been on the high court since the early 90s, is facing those calls thanks to multiple rulings he made that seemed to favor former President Trump, his own wife, and the January 6th insurrection. In every case, the full court has gone the opposite way of Thomas’s judgements.
The fact that he even allowed himself to make some of those rulings has many scholars up in arms. More than once, Thomas has refused to recuse himself despite obvious conflicts of interest. Judges are supposed to recuse themselves if there is even an appearance of any conflict.
Thomas previously was the lone justice to dissent from the court’s refusal to block the release of White House records held by the National Archives to the Jan. 6 Committee. It was later revealed in March that his wife had been in communication with White House officials about Trump’s machinations to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.
This week marked a second time Thomas seemed to intervene to hamper the committee’s efforts to investigate the plot to overturn the 2020 election in which his wife, Ginni Thomas, played a role.
In a dissent on Monday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas showed that he would have blocked enforcement of a subpoena issued by the House Jan. 6 Committee for the phone and text records of Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward.
Clarence Thomas was alone in that view. Coincidence?
His wife has also been caught appearing to be deceitful about her role in the insurrection and coup attempt by former President Trump after losing the 2020 election by about 7 million votes.
She disclosed in a March 14 interview with the conservative Washington Free Beacon that she attended the Jan. 6, 2021 rally at the Ellipse, she claimed she got cold and left before it turned into a violent insurrection aimed at stopping Congress’ certification of electoral votes.
Ginni Thomas’ messages to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reveal she was more than just a rally attendee. She sent Meadows outlandish false conspiracy theories that Trump lawyer Sidney Powell was spreading and promoting. Those claims included widespread election fraud that implicated hundreds of people, if not thousands, around the globe, including long-dead Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Thomas also sent Meadows a text quoting a far-right conspiracy theory falsely claiming that the “Biden crime family” had been arrested and were on their way to the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The text messages between Meadows and Thomas exposed her after Meadows handed over documents to the Jan. 6 committee before he claimed executive privilege and stopped complying.
Clarence Thomas has also seemed to try to hinder the Department of Justice’s investigation into stolen documents that were found when a lawful search warrant was executed last summer. The justice temporarily blocked an effort to use those documents to continue to investigate possible crimes. The full court, this time including Clarence Thomas, overruled his previous order.
The Department of Justice, in that case, sternly requested that the SCOTUS not get involved as the appellate court ruling, which overruled a bizarre and legally questionable ruling by a Trump appointed judge. Thomas ignored that request and gave the appearance to many that he was trying to help his wife’s political ally and hero.
Thomas’s rulings have often been “outside the mainstream” of justice, and at times, even the conservative brand of justice. But after January 6th, to many, something much more sinister seems to be afoot.
Thomas originally became a member of the SCOTUS after a contentious confirmation hearing where Anita Hill alleged that he had sexually harassed her.
The Thomas’s have claimed that they don’t discuss or get involved in each other’s business defending his recent decisions. But past statements might contradict that claim.
“My wife is my best friend,” Clarence Thomas told students at Stetson University College of Law in 2010. “I can rant with her.”
“I love to spend time with my wife, who is totally my best friend,” Thomas said at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual lecture in 2019.
“It’s his wife, it’s his best friend, his most trusted confidante, and he loves her unconditionally,” right-wing pundit and Thomas friend Armstrong Williams told told The New York Times about the voicemail Ginni Thomas left for Anita Hill, the former Thomas aide who accused him of sexual harassment in 1991.
“My wife is my best friend in the whole word,” Clarence Thomas enthusiastically said in a 2012 speech to University of Florida law students.
“It’s great to be married to your best friend,” Thomas said at a gathering of the conservative Federalist Society in 1999.
Over 1.2 million people have now signed on to a petition to impeach Clarence Thomas.
There have also been calls for him to outright resign.