May 23, 2022

Sen. Barbara Boxer calls for articles of impeachment against Justice Clarence Thomas

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been the target of a recent campaign in which liberals have called for him to recuse himself from any cases involving issues of interest to his wife, conservative activist Ginny Thomas, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has just upped the ante by calling for him to face impeachment for his prior participation in one such matter.

As Breitbart notes, Boxer’s comments came during a Friday appearance on MSNBC’s The Beat in which she discussed Thomas’ role as the lone dissenter in a case related to the release of records to the House Select Committee probing the Jan. 6 unrest at the U.S. Capitol and recent revelations that the justice’s wife had exchanged numerous text messages with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows regarding doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election results.

“I looked at it from the lens of someone who served on the Bipartisan Ethics Committee in the Senate for many years. I was chair and co-chair for all those years,” Boxer began.

“I would say this, I thought if Clarence Thomas had been a senator and his wife was texting the president’s chief of staff about overturning democracy, Clarence Thomas, if he were a senator, would have been thrown out of the Senate if he knew about it and did not recuse himself from the case,” the senator added.

Acknowledging the almost unprecedented nature of what she was ultimately suggesting, Boxer said, “Even though in our history only one Supreme Court justice has been impeached, that was in 1804, I still think it would be good for someone to introduce articles of impeachment, to lay out this abuse of power for everyone to see.”

When program host Ari Melber pressed her, asking, “You’re saying, though, that your read here is, this is a potentially impeachable issue for Justice Thomas, Boxer declared, “I believe so if he knew. If he knew about this communication.”

Boxer joins her Democrat colleague Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) in taking aim at the conservative judicial icon and his wife, as he recently made the claim that “Justice Thomas’ conduct on the Supreme Court looks increasingly corrupt,” and added, “[j]udges are obligated to recuse themselves when their participation in a case would create even the appearance of a conflict of interest. A person with an ounce of commonsense could see that bar is met here.”

Ginni Thomas responded to her critics in a Washington Free Beacon interview in which she said, “Like so many married couples, we share many of the same ideals, principles, and aspirations for America,” but noted, “[w]e have our own separate careers, and our own ideas and opinions too. Clarence doesn’t discuss his work with me, and I don’t involve him in my work.”

Indeed, as noted legal scholar and law professor Jonathan Turley explains, “People of good faith can disagree on the need of Thomas to recuse himself from certain [Jan. 6] Commission-related cases. However, impeaching Thomas based on these grounds would expose all justices to the threat of politically motivated impeachments as majorities shift in Congress,” and that, he notes, “is precisely what the Framers sought to avoid under our Constitution.”

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