The drum beat for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s resignation intensified over the last nine months. That’s right around when we learned that his wife Ginni Thomas was the Forest Gump of election lie peddlers in the lead up to the January 6th coup attempt: sending a series of text messages to Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff; blasting emails to Arizona representatives, begging them to overturn the results of the election; communicating with Coups 4 Dummies lawyer John Eastman; and pestering Wisconsin lawmakers over the election.
Despite this, Clarence Thomas keeps hearing cases involving the work his wife is involved in. He was the lone dissent when the Court rejected Trump’s efforts to block the release of presidential records to the committee, and last month he dissented in a shadow docket case in which Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward sought to block a January 6th Committee subpoena.
Frankly, Thomas has swathed in ethics scandal after ethics scandal but the lack of an enforceable ethics code — and falling short of 60 senators that care — means nothing happens.
But in the wake of Justice Thomas presiding over Moore v. Harper, a case that asks the Court to adopt the controversial independent state legislators theory — the same theory Ginni peddled to lawmakers to get them to overturn the votes of the American public and install Donald Trump as the president in 2020 — Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) is here to remind folks just how fucked this all is.
We might all be a little numb when hearing about the constant barrage of ethics issues at the Supreme Court when there’s no recourse for the public. But it’s imperative we talk about the ethical entanglements of powerful people with lifetime appointments, in the hope that maybe, eventually, something will be done. In this case, we’ve been talking about it since 1991, so any day now I expect consequences to arrive on Thomas’s doorstep…
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).