On Thursday, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) — a member of the House Oversight Committee, which has extremely sweeping powers — accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of intentionally violating his obligations for ethics with his participation in Trump-related proceedings.
Some have pushed for Thomas’ consistent exit from such proceedings on account of his wife, Ginni Thomas, having supported Trump’s ambitions to improperly stay in power after the 2020 presidential election.
The latest Trump-related proceedings to reach oral arguments before the Supreme Court concerned a challenge to Trump’s eligibility for office on the basis of Constitutional restrictions on certain individuals who engaged in insurrection. The connection made to Trump is the violence of January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol, which was driven by lies propagated by him of systematic fraud in the 2020 election.
“Having recused from a prior case related to Jan 6 due to his wife’s involvement, Justice Thomas’s participation in Trump’s ballot case is a shocking and intentional violation of his ethical obligations. Clarence Thomas is not above the law. This is a true crisis at the Court,” Goldman said on social media Thursday.
The comments and related sentiments could be indicative of investigative interests for Democrats in the event that they regain the majority in the House in elections later this year. The judge about whom Goldman was concerned has also faced a series of questions over a volley of reports accusing him of accepting extensive spending by wealthy figures like billionaire Harlan Crow, who reports tied to a series of travel and vacation amenities enjoyed by the Thomases. The worry there is the possibility for the cultivation of a conflict of interest in the judge essentially aligning himself with these wealthy individuals. The Supreme Court unveiled a claimed code of ethics for its members, but there were subsequent questions about if it would even be enforced.
Some Democrats have also pushed more sweeping measures, like Thomas exiting the court entirely or a legislative expansion to its membership, but these have faltered.