Progressives: Clarence Thomas Must Go

AOC among those raising the possibility of impeachment
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2022 1:47 PM CDT
On the Left, Chorus Grows to Impeach Thomas
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in a 2021 file photo.   (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP, File)

Clarence Thomas is back to his Supreme Court duties after a hospital stay, but if progressives have their way, his days on the court will be numbered. A number of lawmakers on the Democrats' left flank have raised the prospect of impeachment over the newly revealed texts of Ginni Thomas, though Politico reports that most mainstream Democrats are not on board. "Clarence Thomas should resign," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday. "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."

In suggesting that impeachment is a possibility following an investigation, AOC isn't going as far as others. Rep. Ilhan Omar, for example, says impeachment proceedings are warranted already. By the count of Fox News, they are among five lawmakers who have so far called for Thomas' resignation or impeachment. The Politico story, however, makes clear that most Democrats (including Nancy Pelosi) at this point are taking a less controversial stance: They say Thomas should recuse himself from cases involving the 2020 election, given his wife's strong advocacy of efforts to keep Donald Trump in office after the vote.

The Hill notes the case that has drawn the most criticism is from January, when Thomas was the court's sole dissenter in a ruling that gave a House panel investigating the events of Jan. 6 access to White House records. "All options have to be on the table," said Rep. Mondaire Jones, vice chair of the Judiciary subcommittee overseeing federal courts, tells Axios in regard to impeachment. "There is a robust, distinct role for the Judiciary Committee to do its own investigation." Only one Supreme Court justice has ever been impeached, notes KXTV. That would be Samuel Chase in 1805. However, after the House impeached, the Senate acquitted, and he remained on the bench. (More Clarence Thomas stories.)

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