Dems are alive at Clarence Thomas but have no idea what to do about it
Congressional Democrats are united in their anger that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has ruled on lawsuits related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election despite his wife His brother, Ginni, was an enthusiastic person in that endeavor.
But Democrats can’t agree on what they can really do about it — if there’s anything they can do.
That’s not to say that various lawmakers haven’t swathed in plenty of ideas since Ginni Thomas was rumored to have texted President Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, dozens of times after the 2020 election to urged Trump to stay in power. In January, Thomas was the sole dissident in a ruling requiring the release of White House records for the January 6 investigation in Congress.
In the last week, many House and Senate Democrats have used their bullying speeches to urge Thomas to re-use himself from cases related to the 2020 election or the uprising. They also appealed to Chief Justice John Roberts to protect the integrity of the court by establishing clearer ethics guidelines, which the Supreme Court does not currently have.
Other Democrats went even further and called for Thomas to resign, arguing that his involvement in the incidents likely involved the disclosure of his wife’s sensitive personal information was unacceptable. be ethically qualified for the entire job.
Some have proposed holding an inquiry at the House Judiciary Committee to dig deeper — or even drafting articles of impeachment in the House, which would require a majority.
And nearly all Democrats embraced the idea of passing moral reform to the Supreme Court in the hope of providing judges with some basic code of ethics to abide by, as it remains the only court in the nation that does not.
Moving forward with any of these tactics – especially legislative tactics – will require a great deal of consensus among members to be successful. But like with most of their policies over the past year, the Democrats simply disagree and don’t seem ready to get there.
With these divisions, the result can be a lot of regrets and very little action.
That outcome hardly pleases any member of a Democratic establishment that is increasingly concerned with the faltering institutions of American democracy and, in general, frustrated with the pace of accountability to American democracy. to date in Democratic-controlled Washington against Trump and his allies over their role in spreading lies and promoting the January 6 election.
When news of Ginni Thomas’s writings failed, progressive groups quickly mobilized to press lawmakers calling for Justice Thomas to resign or be impeached. That has had an impact: some say they’ve received calls from voters asking what they plan to do about Thomas.
But so far, only a handful of Democrats have accepted impeachment, particularly Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who said that step should be taken if Thomas doesn’t resign. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), another member who raised the prospect of impeachment, told The Daily Beast that she heard some of her colleagues were drafting papers.
Others, like Representative Mondaire Jones (D-NY) believe that “everything has to be on the table.”
“The prerogative of Congress is to conduct oversight of the federal judiciary,” Jones said.
That sanction is still a minority opinion. Even Trump critics and the right wing of the GOP are not ready to call for impeachment justice at this point.
Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who was one of the impeachment managers during Trump’s second trial, warned Democrats “not to diminish what impeachment means. “
“Save it for the extreme crimes against the union, the kind of which Donald Trump is accused,” Raskin told The Daily Beast.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), a member of the Judiciary Committee, has previously stated in favor of opening impeachment proceedings against Thomas, but has cooled in recent days out of respect for his colleagues. on the committee on January 6.
“The January 6 committee had a lot of people on fire, including Ginni Thomas,” Johnson told The Daily Beast, “and I think anything that interferes with their work is not something that I do. support.”
Other Democrats, including President Joe Biden, share a preference for postponing the January 6 committee.
Although Biden has campaigned for the White House with the view that the future of democracy lies on the ballot, he fails to consider Thomases’ obvious conflicts, defaulting to his often-used position of trade. legal matters to the Department of Justice. to handle.
“I’ll leave that to two entities,” Biden said on Monday, in response to a reporter’s question about whether Justice Thomas should repurpose himself from cases related to the former’s insurgency effort. President Trump or not. “One, the January 6 committee and, two, the Department of Justice. That is their judgment, not mine.”
The White House seemed so aloof from Ginni Thomas’s speech that officials were unaware that this apparently insane text message — first revealed by Articles washington last week — even existed. When asked about the response to allegations that the president’s family was secretly arrested for drug use, a White House spokesman replied: “Wait when she says that?”
When asked about Thomas, most Democrats seem resigned to the fact that Thomas won’t step down — and simply hold out hope that the pressure it might generate for him to reuse himself from the public eye. cases where he has an apparent conflict of interest as a result of his wife’s actions.
That would be in line with standard precedent for Supreme Court justices, who have a history of backing down cases due to work history or family ties.
“It doesn’t matter that he has to reuse himself… That seems to me like an open case,” Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) told The Daily Beast.
Jones, who said he plans to dig deeper into the provision in federal law that requires judges to withdraw from “any proceeding where his fairness could be questioned in a certain way.” reasonably.”
Jones, who has called for the Judiciary Committee hearings into Thomas’s conflicts of interest, said: “It’s been getting loud. “There is not enough education about that. It’s really not a gray area. ”
Some Democrats hope that even if they can’t blame Thomas, the episode could give life to the push to create some basic moral standards on the supreme court. .
On Monday, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led a letter along with 20 other Democrats to Roberts, asking him to create a binding “Code of Conduct” for the Supreme Court .
“We need to put in place regulations,” Warren said. “We needed to do that long before this scandal arose … but this scandal could be the impetus to get it done.”
Regardless of what Democrats decide to do, the January 6 committee is set to further probe Ginni Thomas’s role in the Capitol riots. They intend to ask her to voluntarily sit for an interview, although some members of the panel want to continue and subpoena her, according to ABC News, to allow progress to proceed.
Depending on what they find, Justice Thomas’ decision on cases related to the 2020 election and January 6 in high court could look even more questionable.
In January, the court rejected Trump’s urgent appeal to block the release of his White House records that the January 6 committee had requested. The only objector was Thomas, and he offered no explanation for that.
But Ginni Thomas’s documents were included in a batch of 9,000 documents that Meadows turned over to the committee. According to New York TimesThomas later participated in the court’s review of a separate case in which Meadows filed a “friend of the court” brief, appealing to the judges that their decision would affect his ability to keep return his file to investigators.
Many Democrats spoke as if this was not the end of the Thomas story. That means they will likely continue to grapple with the dilemma that has plagued them during the Trump era — finding answers to norm violations by elements of the executive or judicial branches. when there really aren’t any definite answers.
When asked about Thomas, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) recalled when many lawmakers called for Trump to resign after the January 6 Capitol riots he incited – which of course, he has no intention of doing.
“Politicians tend to call for resignations,” says Schatz. “There’s been a point where people are calling for Trump to step down, and I feel that’s a bit of a normal thing.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/dems-are-livid-at-clarence-thomas-but-have-no-idea-what-to-do-about-it?source=articles&via=rss Dems are alive at Clarence Thomas but have no idea what to do about it