(StraightNews.org) – Towards the end of March, more than two dozen text messages between Virginia “Ginni” Thomas and Mark Meadows were revealed. In them, the pair discussed the 2020 election results, with Mrs. Thomas telling Meadows to keep up his fight to overturn the results. Despite the fact she’s an individual, some lawmakers seem to think Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Mrs. Thomas’ husband should face consequences.
On March 29, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took to Twitter demanding Thomas resign from the High Court. If he fails to resign, AOC threatened, his actions could be “grounds for impeachment.”
Clarence Thomas should resign.
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.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 29, 2022
She’s not the only lawmaker to express this opinion. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also echoed her sentiments on Twitter days before.
Clarence Thomas needs to be impeached https://t.co/ZuZbxkMaYs
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 25, 2022
Following the revelation of the text messages, critics and lawmakers alike began to call into question Justice Thomas’ dissent in the request to hand over former President Donald Trump’s White House records to the January 6 Committee. Others say he must recuse himself from future cases involving the January 6 events and the 2020 election results. What’s important to note is Mrs. Thomas’ messages never mentioned her husband in any capacity and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Can Supreme Court Justices Be Impeached?
While it’s very rare — in fact, it’s only ever happened once in the Supreme Court’s history — it is possible for lawmakers to impeach a SCOTUS justice. The standards are arguably lower than they are to impeach a sitting president, as well. Article III, Section 1 of the US Constitution addresses judges remaining in their positions “during good behavior,” making it known forth as the Good Behavior clause.
The impeachment process still requires a slim majority vote in the House followed by a two-thirds supermajority in the Senate. Because of this, it hasn’t exactly resulted in success, despite two notable attempts in history.
Historical Supreme Court Impeachment Attempts
The very first impeachment attempt came in the early 1800s when Congress singled out Justice Samuel Chase, a pro-Federalist who campaigned for John Adams in the 1800 presidential election. In 1804, Jeffersonian Republicans impeached him because of his politics. However, while the House successfully impeached Chase, the Senate never reached a supermajority vote and thus Chase remained in his position.
Fast forward nearly 200 years later to 1970, and Gerald Ford took aim at Justice William O. Douglas, who Franklin Roosevelt appointed to the SCOTUS in 1939. Ford reportedly took issue with the fact Congress failed to appoint a Southern judge to the court and called into question Douglas’ beliefs that rebellion and violence against the government are, in some circumstances, justified. He cited the aforementioned Good Behavior clause, saying it applied to judges because they’re appointed to the court for life. The House Judiciary Committee responded carried out a six-month investigation, but it never went to trial in the Senate. Needless to say, the attempt failed.
Despite calls for Thomas’ removal, there’s currently no evidence he’s done any wrongdoing and unless an investigation takes place — and this is a big if — and uncovers that there’s more to the story, the cries for his removal will remain just that.
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