House Democrats Urge Clarence Thomas to Recuse From Trump’s Colorado Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Democrats sent a letter Thursday asking U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any involvement in the case challenging former President Donald Trump’s eligibility on the Colorado primary ballot.

Trump was removed from Colorado’s presidential primary ballot last month after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled he was ineligible for the position due to his role in the Jan. 6 2021 insurrection under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Trump appealed the decision to the nation’s highest court earlier this week.

The letter, led by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and signed by seven other House Democrats, rests on the actions of Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas. Ginni Thomas is reported to have encouraged Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn the results, promoted the rally that incited the Jan. 6 insurrection and emailed state legislators asking them to vote for a fake set of Trump electors.

The House Democrats argue that Ms. Thomas has shown a “fervent bias towards Trump” and that it “is hard to believe that her impact” has no impact on the justice but rather that her views “bleed over.. and affect” Justice Thomas’ ability to “be impartial in a case about Mr. Trump’s effort to prevent the orderly transition of power.”

The letter points out the Court’s recently announced, but unenforceable, formal code of conduct, which states, “A Justice should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the Justice’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, that is, where an unbiased and reasonable person who is aware of all relevant circumstances would doubt that the Justice could fairly discharge his or her duties.” 

Examples of this conduct include if “the Justice knows that the Justice…or the Justice’s spouse… has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be affected substantially by the outcome of the proceeding.” The congressional Democrats argue that it is foreseeable that Ginni Thomas’ “earning capacity will be positively impacted should the Court grant the relief sought by the former president.”

House Democrats also sent a similar letter in mid-December urging Thomas to recuse himself from Trump’s Washington, D.C. election subversion case, which has also made its way to the Supreme Court.

Read the letter here.