Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), both of whom serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from election cases in light of his wife’s texts to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows urging the then-Trump official to push Big Lie efforts in the weeks after the 2020 election.
Appearing on ABC News, Klobuchar argued that Ginni Thomas’ damning texts to Meadows is a “textbook case” for recusing himself from election cases.
“The facts are clear here. This is unbelievable. You have the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice advocating for an insurrection, advocating for overturning a legal election to the sitting president’s chief of staff and she also knows this election, these cases, are going to come before her husband,” Klobuchar said. “This is a textbook case for removing him, recusing him from these decisions.”
Klobuchar expressed dissatisfaction over the Supreme Court’s lack of response to Ginni Thomas’ texts.
“All I hear is silence from the Supreme Court right now and that better change in the coming week because every other federal judge in the country except Supreme Court justices would have a guidance from ethics rules that says you got to recuse himself,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar pointed to Justice Thomas’ recusal from a case in 1995 to decide whether Virginia’s exclusion of women from its state-supported military college violated the Constitution. Justice Thomas recused himself because his son was a fourth-year student at Virginia Military Institute at the time.
Asked what would happen if Justice Thomas doesn’t recuse himself from election cases, Klobuchar warned that the “entire integrity” of the highest court is on the line.
“They had better speak out on this because you cannot have a justice hearing cases related to this election and, in fact, the ethics rules that apply to all the other federal judges say that if it involves a family member, appearance of impartiality, they have to recuse themselves,” Klobuchar said. “So not only should he recuse himself, but this Supreme Court badly needs ethics rules.”
Booker issued a similar demand for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from election cases now that his wife’s Big Lie texts to Meadows in the weeks after the 2020 election have been revealed.
Booker cited Justice Elena Kagan’s multiple recusals from cases, saying that she recused herself from cases where she “understood that even the appearance of impropriety would delegitimize the Court.”
“And the Court needs that legitimacy in this nation. So clearly, Justice Thomas should have recused himself,” Booker said. “That’s not even at question here. And I think that we also need more of a thorough investigation to better understand exactly what has happened with the judge’s wife.”
Ginni Thomas’ work as a conservative activist has drawn scrutiny about potential conflicts of interest they could present to Justice Thomas’ role on the high court, as he hears cases related to last year’s deadly Capitol insurrection and efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Earlier this month, Ginni Thomas admitted that she attended the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the deadly Capitol insurrection — but only until she “got cold and left early.” She has denied helping with organizing the rally after it was previously reported that Ginni Thomas had ties to the rally’s organizers.
Last January, Thomas was the only Supreme Court justice who dissented from the high court’s decision to reject a request by former President Trump to block the release of presidential records that the Jan. 6 Select Committee is seeking.
Justice Thomas’ role in the Supreme Court came under additional scrutiny after the Washington Post and CBS News revealed Ginni Thomas’ texts to Meadows after the 2020 election. Thomas repeatedly urged Meadows to keep the Big Lie alive days after Joe Biden’s victory was projected by news organizations.