Democrats have been criticizing Thomas for not recusing himself from cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, after it was revealed that his wife sent text messages to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows urging him to challenge Donald Trump‘s 2020 election loss.
“Clarence Thomas should resign,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday morning. “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.”
Ocasio-Cortez joins Reps. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Hank Johnson, D-Ga., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., in calling for Thomas to leave the bench or face impeachment proceedings.
House and Senate Democrats on Monday sent a letter to Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts regarding “alarming new reports about Justice Thomas’s potential conflicts of interest” related to his wife. They claimed there is an “urgent need for significant ethics reform at the Supreme Court.”
They cited a federal statute that calls upon judges and justices to recuse from “any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” and slammed him for remaining involved in cases related to the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 riot, despite his wife’s reported involvement with efforts to overturn the election’s results.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Friday it is Thomas’ decision on whether to recuse himself.
“It’s his decision based upon law. If you spent any time studying the Supreme Court justice, he’s one who studies correctly, and I mean, from all the way through. If he sees it’s not upholding the Constitution, he’ll rule against it.”
In their letter, the Democrats also faulted Thomas for not disclosing his wife’s income from the Heritage Foundation between 2003 and 2007.
They called upon Thomas to explain his decision to remain involved in cases related to the election and riot, and stated that Roberts should commit “to creating a binding Code of Conduct for the Supreme Court.”