By Dr. John E. Warren
The attitude of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas only adds to concerns about non-reported gifts from wealthy donors. In addition, it adds to the ongoing discussion of his wife Ginny Thomas’ involvement with the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Mrs. Thomas’ emails have already proven to be very telling as to her position with the “far right” and the false statements about a “stolen” Presidential election.
It was already hard to believe that she never shared any of her views with her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Considering the Justice’s conservative position on most issues, it became very hard to believe that the two persons in that marriage didn’t discuss politics.
Now we find a trail of gifts and favors to the Justice, spanning decades, as well as a personal real estate deal involving the home of the mother of Justice Thomas having been sold to his billionaire donor with no record of the sale being reported, as required by law. Also, no reporting of income from the sale.
The excuses offered by Justice Thomas, when he chooses to give one, reflect neither remorse nor concern about the appearance of such actions from a Justice seated on the highest court in the land and expected to lead by example.
Justice Thomas can only be removed from office by death, resignation or impeachment. He is not expected to resign. Justice Roberts, the Presiding Justice, is not expected to take any action and, therefore, the only recourse is impeachment as provided by the United States Constitution.
So far, the only Federal Judge removed from office by impeachment was Judge Alcee Hastings of the Southern District of Florida in 1989.
The issue is not whether the Senate has the votes to convict Thomas, or if a Republican controlled Congress will allow the impeachment proceedings to clear the House of Representatives, as required by the Constitution, but the need to show the American people that some elected officials still take their Oath of Office seriously enough to make the effort for removal from the highest Court in the Land.
While the United States Constitution does not have a recall provision, each state which elects individuals to the U.S. Congress does have such a provision in its State Constitution.
It is time for the voters of each state to take a look at the people they have elected to some of the highest offices in the land and for the people of each state to consider recalling those elected officials who are ignoring the will of the people on such issues as gun control, abortion and voter suppression.
While there may not be enough votes to remove many of the Republicans in state and national office, the idea of a Recall against them should be enough to let them know the American people have had enough of the attack on democracy. Something to think about.
Dr. John E. Warren is publisher of The San Diego Voice and Viewpoint.