Schumer and Democrats say Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from January 6 cases

Plenty of Senate Democrats– moderate and progressive alike – are skittish about voting to impeach the longest-serving Supreme Court Justice

Eric Garcia
Tuesday 29 March 2022 23:39
Comments
<p>Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas</p>

Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and a chorus of other Democrats called on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases related to January 6 after revelations that his wife Ginni sent numerous messages to Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff about overturning the 2020 election.

Mr Schumer made the remarks during the Senate Democrats’ weekly press conference after The Washington Post and CBS News reported that Ms Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, sent repeated messages to Mark Meadows to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

“First, I do think he should recuse himself,” he said. “The information we know right now raises serious questions about how close Justice Thomas and his wife are to the planning and execution of the insurrection.”

The New York Democrat added that there should be some kind of code of ethics for Supreme Court justices. Mr Schumer said this despite the fact that New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Mr Thomas should resign and that if not, “his failure to disclose income from right-wing organizations, recuse himself from matters involving his wife, and his vote to block the Jan 6th commission from key information must be investigated and could serve as grounds for impeachment.”

But Mr Schumer is not the only Democratic Senator afraid to pull the trigger on impeachment.

When asked whether Mr Thomas should be impeached, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, said that he should recuse himself.

“No, I think he should disqualify himself on some of these votes for sure,” he said. “I’m not a lawyer. I don’t follow the court enough to know what specific cases but anything that has to do with his wife’s advocacy that way, that publicly, that aggressively, he should recuse himself.”

Senator Jon Tester of Montana, a state that voted for Donald Trump, repeated the sentiment.

“I think recuse himself on any issues that come forth about the election, absolutely,” he said.

Other Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee were more taciturn. Senator Dianne Feinstein was mum when The Independent asked her about what should happen.

“I’m not going to respond,” she said. “Thank you, though.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, a member of the committee, was also reluctant to give a view.

“I don’t want to get ahead of my skis,” he told The Independent, noting his committee work.

But even Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a former Harvard Law School professor who has supported expanding the court, called for recusal.

“There is an appearance of conflict of interest,” she told The Independent. “The Justice has been in a position already to vote on an investigation that could involve his wife. He should recuse himself.”

But Ms Warren did not say that there should be a vote for impeachment.

“Right now, the Justice should announce that he will recuse himself from any participation in anything connected to the January 6 insurrection,” she said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in