Thomas recently voted again to block the Jan. 6 committee from obtaining essential records regarding Donald Trump's alleged involvement in attempting to change the results of the 2020 presidential election. Ultimately, the Supreme Court rejected Arizona Republican Chair Kelli Ward's emergency request to block her cell phone records from getting to the Jan. 6 select committee. But in an unsigned dissent, Clarence Thomas indicated that he would have blocked enforcement of the committee's subpoena for those records.
Thomas has also indicated his intent to hinder the committee's investigations on other occasions. Previously, he was the lone dissent in Trump's bid to stop the release of White House records held by the National Archives from getting into the hands of the Jan. 6 committee.
Text messages later revealed that Ginni Thomas had communicated with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the need to overturn the election. As Daily Kos noted in March, "Ginni Thomas was texting the White House chief of staff with specific—if bad—legal advice for efforts to overturn the 2020 elections in court. She sent him a link to a conspiracy theorist. Above all, she urged him—and, by extension, Trump—not to stop trying to undo the results of the election to keep the loser in power."
Last month, Clarence Thomas also agreed to temporarily block Sen. Lindsey Graham from testifying before a Georgia grand jury for his alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election. Graham did finally testify last week despite Clarence Thomas' intervention.
In Thomas we have a Supreme Court justice who claims to be impartial but is voting to shield his spouse and his political allies from potential liability. His failure to avoid such conflicts of interest further undermines public trust in the court at a time when its legitimacy is already a matter of significant public debate. If we hope to renew faith in our nation's highest court, Clarence Thomas must be held accountable for flouting ethical rules.
The House Judiciary Committee announced a hearing on Dec. 8 to investigate Operation Higher Court—a program initiated by far-right religious groups to influence justices—and politicking at SCOTUS. This is a start, but until the nine SCOTUS justices are held to a binding code of ethics to prevent such conflicts of interest—like every federal judge in this country—we will continue to advocate for just that.
Will you join us in demanding that Congress hold Clarence Thomas accountable for ruling on cases where he has a conflict of interest?
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