Did you know there’s no code of ethics for Supreme Court justices, and it’s 100 percent their call on whether they recuse themselves from certain cases, with no way to appeal a failure to recuse? All federal judges except the nine sitting on the country’s highest court have to follow a written code—a very fun fact about our perfectly designed third branch of government!
In totally unrelated news, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, conservative activist and January 6th rally attendee Ginni Thomas, sent nearly 30 text messages to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urging him to help overturn the 2020 election.
On Thursday, the Washington Post published the text messages from Ginni, which included lines like “Biden crime family...will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition” and “Do not concede. It takes time for the army who is gathering for his back.” On Monday, several news outlets reported that the House of Representatives’ January 6th Select Committee will seek to interview Ginni.
Former President Donald Trump sued to try to block the committee from getting relevant White House records in a case that made it to the Supreme Court. The justices ruled 8-1 in favor of releasing the records, with only Thomas dissenting. (Before the court heard the case, Ginni also signed a letter accusing the committee of “overtly partisan political persecution” and incredibly, he still did not recuse himself!)
Now that Ginni’s texts have become public, we know Thomas dissented in a case that could have implicated his wife’s involvement in the failed coup. While some are calling for Thomas to recuse himself from future January 6th cases, others realize that he crossed the rubicon and should either resign or be impeached.
As of publication time, the people and groups calling for Thomas’ removal include: Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Nydia Velasquez (D-N.Y.), New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman (who covers elections and the law), Women’s March executive director Rachel O’ Leary Carmona, the progressive group MoveOn, and Take Back the Court Action Fund.
Mind you, this is far from the first time there’s been recusal and impeachment chatter about Justice Thomas. Ginni has made headlines for not only being on the exclusive email listserv of Thomas’ former law clerks, but also for sharing pro-Trump messages and dismay over the 2020 election there. Thomas also worked as an in-house lawyer at chemical giant Monsanto in the 70s and has never recused himself from Supreme Court cases involving the company, per The New Republic.
Then of course there’s the original sin dating back to 1991: Thomas lying under oath about sexually harassing Anita Hill and other women coworkers.
Clarence Thomas: Kick rocks.