In a January 16, 2024 opinion piece in The Hill, Svante Myrick of the progressive advocacy group People for the American Way argued that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from any cases related to attempts by former President Donald Trump to avoid accountability for the January 6th attack on the US Capitol.

Myrick’s article discusses ongoing legal battles surrounding Trump’s claims of presidential immunity from prosecution. A hypothetical scenario posed during oral arguments at the DC Circuit Court involved whether a president could order the assassination of a political rival. The Trump lawyer was unable to provide a clear response, while the three-judge panel expressed doubt and disbelief towards the Trump team’s assertion of total presidential immunity.

The cases are likely to eventually reach the Supreme Court. However, Myrick asserts that Justice Thomas must recuse himself given his wife Ginni Thomas’s prominent role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Text messages have revealed Ginni Thomas’s deep commitment to denying President Biden’s victory and Trump’s push to remain in power.

Myrick claims it would be impossible for anything Clarence Thomas rules on regarding January 6th to not appear tainted by his wife’s involvement. Though Thomas recused from one related case last fall involving Trump lawyer John Eastman, who had previously clerked for Thomas, Myrick argues more recusals are needed given the increasing prominence and consequences of the court cases.

The article outlines Thomas’ history of bending judicial ethics rules regarding political activities and donors. It also notes he was the only Supreme Court justice who sided with Trump’s efforts to block White House records from the January 6th committee. Myrick contends Thomas’ apparent willingness to ignore the court’s new code of conduct requiring avoiding conflicts raises doubts about his impartiality.

In closing, Myrick emphasizes the importance of the January 6th related cases in determining the future of American democracy. How the events are portrayed in history books could shape public understanding for generations. According to Myrick, Clarence Thomas’ role in the cases’ outcome poses too great a risk of further eroding public trust in the justice system.



Source: The Hill