Ocasio-Cortez calls on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to resign

Talking points

  • High-profile progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should resign.
  • Thomas’ wife Ginni, a conservative activist, had pressed the Trump White House to try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
  • Thomas was the only justice to object to the Supreme Court’s decision to reject Donald Trump’s request to block White House documents from being released.
  • The bipartisan House panel is investigating the 2021 storming of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that tried to stop the confirmation of Joe Biden’s electoral win.
  • Congresswoman Ilhan Omar also has said Thomas should be impeached.

Washington: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should resign after it emerged that his wife had pressed the Trump White House in text messages to try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“If not, his failure to disclose income from right-wing organisations, recuse himself from matters involving his wife, and his vote to block the January 6th commission from key information must be investigated and could serve as grounds for impeachment,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesaday, Washington-time.

Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.Credit:AP

Ocasio-Cortez’s call for Thomas to resign – as well as her raising the prospect an impeachment effort – goes further than most other Democrats have in their demands for Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the 2020 election or the January 6, 2021, insurrection after certain texts from his wife came to light last week.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar also has said Thomas should be impeached.

The texts by Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a conservative activist and lawyer by training, revealed that she had reached out to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows multiple times in the weeks after the 2020 election, pushing the baseless claim that the election had been stolen and urging Trump officials not to accept the results. At the time, President Donald Trump and his allies had vowed to take their efforts to overturn the election results to the Supreme Court.

In January, Clarence Thomas was the only justice to dissent in the Supreme Court’s decision to reject Trump’s request to block White House documents from being released to the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. The bipartisan panel is investigating the 2021 storming of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that tried to stop the confirmation of Joe Biden’s electoral college win, an attack that led to five deaths and left about 140 members of law enforcement injured.

On Monday, a person familiar with the investigation confirmed to The Washington Post that the committee will seek an interview with Ginni Thomas.

Unlike federal judges, Supreme Court justices are not subject to an ethical code of conduct and can be removed only by impeachment. The House would need to draft articles of impeachment, then a simple majority would need to vote to impeach. At least two-thirds of the Senate would then need to vote to convict the justice. Samuel Chase remains the only Supreme Court justice to have been impeached in US history, but the Senate ultimately acquitted him.

In the past week, a growing number of Democratic members of Congress have called on Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from certain cases.

“The facts are clear here. This is unbelievable,” Senator Amy Klobuchar said on ABC News’s This Week on Sunday. “You have the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice advocating for an insurrection, advocating for overturning a legal election to the sitting president’s chief of staff. And she also knows this election, these cases are going to come before her husband.”

New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.Credit:AP

Senator Cory Booker said that the legitimacy of the Supreme Court was at stake and that “clearly” the justice should have recused himself from decisions related to the election.

On Monday, a larger group of House and Senate Democrats, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal sent a letter to the Supreme Court requesting that Clarence Thomas recuse himself from future cases involving the January 6 riot and asking for a “written explanation for his failure to recuse himself” in previous related cases. Signatories included seven Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with 13 House Democrats.

Ginni Thomas’s text messages were among thousands of documents related to the January 6 insurrection, including other text messages and emails, that Meadows turned over to the House select committee before he abruptly stopped fully cooperating with the panel in December.

Justice Clarence Thomas.Credit:AP

In some comments, Ginni Thomas was zealous in appealing to Meadows to help overturn the 2020 election results. “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark,” she wrote November 10, 2020. “The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”

Washington Post

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