Senator Targets Clarence Thomas For Brazen Corruption On Court


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) isn’t impressed with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s conduct on the bench.

Yet again, Thomas has remained involved in legal proceedings covering a dispute related to January 6 and the broader aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, despite the consistent participation of his wife, Ginni Thomas, in trying to basically undo the outcome of that election, meaning Biden’s victory. Ginni’s actions, including encouragement directly texted to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for him to keep up the fight against the results, mean she has a perceptibly direct interest in how legal disputes tied to the situation are turning out — and her husband is still helping decide on such disputes.

This time, it was a push by Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward — whose state party didn’t make a great showing last Tuesday — to block phone records of hers from scrutiny by the House committee investigating January 6. The court ultimately decided to allow the panel to proceed, although it was noted Clarence Thomas and fellow conservative Justice Samuel Alito would have granted Ward’s request. Thomas and Alito both, of course, already have a reputation of staunch conservatism, but with Thomas, his wife’s involvement in or at least connection to some of the activities for which Ward has drawn investigative scrutiny add an inescapable level of additional complication. Ward, for her part, was among the dozens of Trump supporters in key swing states like Georgia and Arizona who signed on as ostensible electors for Trump despite Biden winning.

“Bad gets worse: Thomas first failed to recuse because he didn’t know of his wife’s activities, an untested factual assertion the Chief Justice has failed to examine. Now Thomas knows because it’s public info and still fails to recuse. This has a reek,” Whitehouse remarked. There aren’t many avenues even available for substantively dealing with the threat of corruption because of Clarence Thomas’s personal ties. Among other options for reform, legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate that would establish term limits for members of the Supreme Court. After the expiration of these proposed limits, previously confirmed Justices would assume what is known as a senior status, in which they can still exercise judicial power but aren’t the first authority. Whitehouse helped introduce the legislation.