DEM POWER GRAB: House Democrats to explore impeachment, judicial ethics in wake of Ginni Thomas texts

On Wednesday, House Democrats will hold a hearing regarding Supreme Court ethics and the possibility of impeaching justices, a move that follows text messages from Ginni Thomas, who is the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas. 

The texts from Ginni Thomas to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6th, 2021, Capitol insurrection have raised political issues in Washington, raising Democratic anger and calls for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from decisions related to the election and former President Trump. 

Republicans have overwhelmingly defended Clarence Thomas.

A memo from Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), who is the chairman of the House Judiciary courts subcommittee, distributed to members ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, and obtained by The Hill, outlines codes of conduct for federal judges outside the Supreme Court and summarizes legislative proposals to impose ethics requirements on Supreme Court justices.

The memo also goes onto discuss Congress’s impeachment authority in the Constitution as one form of regulation of the conduct of Supreme Court justices.

“Threats or inquiries of impeachment as a means of regulating the conduct of Supreme Court justices have had varying effects,” the memo said.

The memo points out that calls for the Supreme Court to implement a code of ethics gained steam among lawmakers “following the reporting about text messages between the spouse of an associate justice and the then-White House Chief of Staff.”

“The Supreme Court has long operated as though it were above the law. But, Justice Clarence Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself from cases surrounding January 6th, despite his wife’s involvement, raises serious ethical and legal alarm bells,” said Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), vice chair of the House Judiciary courts subcommittee.

“The need for strong, enforceable ethics laws is clearer than ever. We have to do more to hold the Court accountable and restore public trust through a binding code of ethics and recusal.”

Some Republicans believe that with this hearing, Democrats are laying the groundwork for further action against him. “Let’s be honest, this hearing is nothing more than step one in impeaching Justice Thomas,” a senior GOP aide told The Hill.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that his failure to recuse himself from matters involving his wife could prompt more investigation and “serve as grounds for impeachment.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Ginni Thomas a “proud contributor to a coup of our country” and renewed her call to institute a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.

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