Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said Tuesday that Justice Clarence Thomas should resign or face investigation and possible impeachment. AOC tweeted that what she describes as Thomas’ nondisclosure of income from “right-wing organizations,” his ruling on matters involving his wife and his vote against the January 6 commission may all be grounds for impeachment.
Her declaration is a step beyond congressional Democrats, who are calling on Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the January 6 incident. This comes after the disclosure of communications between his wife and the White House about the election.
Thomas’ wife Virginia, or “Ginni”, was revealed last week to have sent several text messages to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows imploring him to keep Trump in office. The messages also reveal that she attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington just prior to the march to the Capitol.
Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that Thomas “should recuse himself,” before adding that there are serious questions “about how close Justice Thomas and his wife were to the planning and execution of the insurrection.”
Even a cursory review of his record shows the media refrain of Justice Thomas not recusing himself from cases with possible conflicts is inaccurate. Thomas, longest tenured justice on the bench, has removed himself from rulings at least 32 times through 2020.
Some Democrats are coming out in support of the Supreme Court Ethics Act, which would prompt the creation of a code of conduct for the high court. Under current law, it is up to Thomas to decide if he will step aside from ruling on any cases related to January 6 that reach the court.
The chances of his removal from the bench by the Senate are virtually nonexistent with the current 50-50 party split.
But while Democrats sense an issue that may halt the rush away from their unpopular president, GOP strategist Doug Heye says it’s unlikely to sway the midterm elections. Heye notes that, even if legitimate questions are raised about Ginni Thomas’ actions or possible recusals, changing voters’ minds is unlikely, given that “a clear majority of Americans disapprove of Biden.”