OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas has participated in a hearing before the court, albeit remotely, following a week’s stay in the hospital while being treated intravenously for an infection.
“The announcement was made by Chief Justice John Roberts prior to the start of arguments,” The Hill reported, adding:
Thomas, 73, was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., on March 18 after experiencing “flu-like symptoms.” He was diagnosed with an infection, treated with intravenous antibiotics and released on Friday.
The Hill also went on to claim that Thomas is now involved in a ‘controversy’ over some text messages his wife sent to then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urging him to assist then-President Donald Trump’s claims of a “rigged” election.
Also, The Hill notes:
Thomas and his wife, Virginia Thomas, drew headlines last week after revelations of his wife’s aggressive effort to help overturn former President Trump’s electoral defeat intensified scrutiny over the justice’s refusal to step aside from related cases before the Supreme Court.
An analysis by The Hill determined that, between November 2020 and February 2022, Thomas participated in at least 10 rulings related to the 2020 presidential election, without any indication of him recusing.
In January of this year, Thomas raised eyebrows as the only justice who indicated that he would have granted Trump’s request to keep a trove of his administration’s records under wraps. That 8-1 ruling came in a dispute over an effort by the House committee investigating the circumstances of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot to obtain Trump-era records from the National Archives.
“You have the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice advocating for an insurrection, advocating for overturning a legal election to the sitting president’s chief of staff and she also knows this election, these cases, are going to come before her husband. This is a textbook case for removing him, recusing him from these decisions,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, claimed Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
But noted constitutional scholar and Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley, a self-described liberal, disagrees. In addition, he has pushed back on calls by the left to impeach Thomas over the activities of his wife.
Turley noted in a column that the push to impeach Justice Thomas, especially for alleged actions on the part of his wife, is reflective of a culture that is more interested in political solutions like impeachment rather than the concept of justice.
“The calls for Justice Thomas’ impeachment are entirely disconnected from any constitutional or logical foundation. Rather, the Thomas controversy shows how the impeachment mantra has become a raging impeachment addiction,” Turley tweeted.
The calls for Justice Thomas’ impeachment are entirely disconnected from any constitutional or logical foundation. Rather, the Thomas controversy shows how the impeachment mantra has become a raging impeachment addiction. https://t.co/2JS1QWgRAv
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) March 27, 2022
Turley also noted in an op-ed contained in his tweet: “No, Justice Thomas did not commit an impeachable offense.”
It is often said that ‘if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.’ In modern American politics, it often seems like the only tool is impeachment and every controversy instantly becomes a high crime and misdemeanor. Donald Trump was impeached not once but twice. Not long after Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed, Democrats like then-Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren demanded his impeachment. Others demanded the impeachment of Attorney General Bill Barr and cabinet members.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas is only the latest addition to that ever-lengthening list. In reality, the calls for his impeachment are entirely disconnected from any constitutional or logical foundation. Rather, the Thomas controversy shows how the impeachment mantra has become a raging impeachment addiction.
Turley concluded his op-ed by arguing that the push to impeach Thomas on grounds claimed by the left would then open the door for justices to be impeached at will in the future as political power shifted in Washington.
“The calls for the impeachment of Justice Thomas are ludicrous but there is nothing laughable about the impeachment addiction fueling this frenzy. Impeaching Thomas based on these grounds would expose all justices to the threat of impeachments as majorities shift in Congress,” he noted