Will Clarence Thomas Be Forced Off the Supreme Court Over Wife's Activism?

Headline Roundup March 29th, 2022

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is facing calls to recuse himself from 2020 election cases or step down from the court amid accusations of a conflict of interest. What will he do?

Ginni Thomas, the justice's wife, reportedly texted former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff in the weeks between the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, urging him to try to overturn the vote. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) argued that based on this revelation and purported conflict of interest, Thomas should resign or face impeachment.

Some Democrats call for Thomas to recuse himself from hearing cases related to the Capitol riot; others, such as President Joe Biden and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, say it's up to Thomas to recuse himself. Some Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have defended Thomas's right to decide whether he should recuse himself.

Many voices on the left call for Thomas to recuse himself over the purportedly clear conflict of interest in order to maintain the court's integrity and public image. One writer for New York Times Opinion argued that Thomas and his wife created "the appearance of extreme bias" on the court, and that he would "do the country a service by stepping down." Other voices across the media spectrum, especially on the right, are less opinionated about what Thomas should do, and frame resignation or impeachment as unlikely.

From the Left
319
OPINION

What did Justice Clarence Thomas know, and when did he know it?

The question usually gets directed at politicians, not judges, but it’s a fair one in light of the revelation on Thursday that Justice Thomas’s wife, Ginni, was working feverishly behind the scenes — and to a far greater degree than she previously admitted — in a high-level effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

As The Washington Post and CBS News first reported, Ms. Thomas, a supremely well-connected right-wing agitator, was in constant communication with the White House in the weeks following...

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From the Center
319
ANALYSIS

House Democrats are split over how to approach what they mostly agree is a clear conflict of interest for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Why it matters: Thomas has thus far resisted calls to recuse himself from election-related cases amid revelations about the activism of his wife, Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, before the Jan. 6 insurrection. One remedy would be impeachment — a long shot, as well as a rarity in the nation's history.

State of play: While progressive Democrats like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) are already talking about impeachment, party leaders...

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From the Right
319
ANALYSIS

Top Democrats are tamping down calls from liberal lawmakers to impeach Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for not recusing himself from cases related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

That despite text messages showing his wife pushing then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to fight to overturn the presidential election results.

Democrats have voiced strong concerns that Ginni Thomas’s correspondences with conservative lawmakers' offices and Meadows ahead of the riot pose a conflict of interest, with a growing number arguing Clarence Thomas should step aside in cases pertaining to the 2020 election.

While...

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