WASHINGTON - The House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on courts, intellectual property, and the internet held a hearing Wednesday afternoon titled "Building Confidence in the Supreme Court Through Ethics and Recusal Reforms," as Democrats – who control the committee – express concern over texts sent by Justice Clarence Thomas's wife.
Justice Thomas came up multiple times in the hearing today after text messages surfaced from his wife, Ginni Thomas, to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows urging him to convince President Donald Trump not to concede the election to Joe Biden. She called the 2020 presidential election "the greatest Heist of our History."
Thomas has not recused from Jan. 6th-related decisions nor from 2020 election-related litigation.
Republicans in the hearing were quick to remind others that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once called Donald Trump a faker with an ego, saying she couldn't imagine what it would be like if he was president and then never recused from a case where Trump was a litigant.
But as two members of the panel pointed out, court reform and judicial ethics is a bipartisan issue with bipartisan support.
A memo from Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., who chairs the subcommittee holding Wednesday's hearing, sent to subcommittee members, discussed the impeachment of Supreme Court justices, according to The Hill. It referenced "the reporting about text messages between the spouse of an associate justice and the then-White House Chief of Staff."
Subcommittee vice chair Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., said the high court "has long operated as though it were above the law," and that "Justice Clarence Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself from cases surrounding January 6th, despite his wife’s involvement, raises serious ethical — and legal — alarm bells."