The fallout over Ginni Thomas’s text messages to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows calling to overturn the 2020 Presidental election continues, as questions circle around her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas was the only no-vote and dissenting opinion in an 8-1 ruling concerning making former President Donald Trump’s presidential records available to the Jan. 6th committee. While the texts do not implicate Justice Thomas directly, they have raised a few eyebrows around ethics on the Supreme Court.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said Justice Thomas should recuse himself from ruling on lawsuits challenging the results of the 2020 election. Booker also called for an investigation into Ginni Thomas’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection and a change in ethics rules surrounding the Supreme Court.
“I have a lot of frustrations with the Supreme Court as a whole, that they have not taken better measures to police themselves,” Booker said. “There are ethics rules that they hold lower courts responsible for, that they don’t put upon themselves.”
“There are a lot of ethics rules that they have not put upon themselves that are just common sense and ultimately lead to a delegitimized court,” he said. “And I think that they need to use this Thomas affair as an opportunity to change their ethics rules.”
As far as recusals are concerned, judges who serve in other federal courts are required by ethics rules to recuse themselves in cases. Supreme Court Justices have to do them voluntarily and are not subject to the same scrutiny. On ABC News’s “This Week,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) drew attention to a 1995 United States v. Virginia case where Justice Thomas recused himself because his son was enrolled at Virginia Military Institute.
“The facts are clear here. This is unbelievable,” Klobuchar said on ABC News’s “This Week.” “You have the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice advocating for an insurrection, advocating for overturning a legal election to the sitting president’s chief of staff. And she also knows this election, these cases are going to come before her husband.”
“All I hear is silence from the Supreme Court right now, and that better change in the coming week,” Klobuchar said. “So not only should he recuse himself, but this Supreme Court badly needs ethics rules.”