The House Judiciary Committee panel has decided to take up the matter of the Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) ethics Wednesday. It is within its power to make changes to the highest court’s standards and to consider the impeachment of a justice. At issue is whether Justice Thomas should recuse himself from cases related to the 2020 election and January 6.
The problem may have begun with Clarence and Virginia (Ginni) Thomas’ right-wing political activities, but it soon involved the Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) lack of an established strong protocol for ethical and nonethical behavior.
Clarence Thomas was the only justice to vote in Trump’s favor when the then-president was trying to keep communications related to the January 6 failed coup. And Justice Thomas has been frequently seen at his wife’s side at ultra-conservative events.
The Hill obtained a memo sent by the Chair of the House Judiciary Court’s Subcommittee Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA). It read that its objective “explores codes of conduct:”
‘[The subcommittee] explores codes of conduct for federal judges outside the Supreme Court and summarizes legislative proposals to impose ethics requirements on Supreme Court justices.
But it also warned of over-correcting:
‘Threats or inquiries of impeachment as a means of regulating the conduct of Supreme Court justices have had varying effects.’
Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Courts Subcommittee Representative Mondaire Jones (D-NY) said that SCOTUS “has long operated as though it were above the law:”
‘The Supreme Court has long operated as though it were above the law. But, Justice Clarence Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself from cases surrounding January 6th, despite his wife’s involvement, raises serious ethical — and legal — alarm bells.’
He continued, saying that they had to “hold the court accountable and restore public trust:”
‘The need for strong, enforceable ethics laws is clearer than ever. We have to do more to hold the Court accountable and restore public trust through a binding code of ethics and recusal.’
Johnson has long been concerned about the ethics of the highest court. In 2021, he introduced the Twenty-First Century Courts Act, which implements a SCOTUS code of conduct.
The Communications Director to the Court’s Subcommittee’s ranking member Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jonathan Wilcox said:
‘For more than 30 years, Democrats have tried and failed to destroy Clarence Thomas. Their misogyny now towards his wife should be beneath them — but apparently not.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
The USA Today newspaper wrote that Ginni Thomas has been a strong advocate for placing Donald Trump in office as opposed to President Joe Biden after the 2020 election.
Caught in the throes of fraudulent election conspiracy theories, Mrs. Thomas attended Trump’s January 6 speech held near the White House. But was not involved in the violent aspects of the day. Instead, she texted Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
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