Only Two (2) Senators Have Called on Clarence Thomas to Resign

How is this number not much higher, given recent reports of the Supreme Court justice's egregious and blatant corruption?

Only Two (2) Senators Have Called on Clarence Thomas to Resign
Photo:Getty (Getty Images)

On Monday, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) called on embattled Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to resign over the multiple ethical breeches that journalists have uncovered in recent weeks regarding his decades-long financial ties to a GOP megadonor.

“I will say what needs to be said: Clarence Thomas should resign from the Supreme Court of the United States. His reputation is unsalvageable,” Markey said. “It is evident that he cannot judge right from wrong, so why should he be judging the country’s most important cases on the highest court?”

Markey follows Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who called for Thomas’ resignation on Twitter back on April 14. Other members of the House have said similar, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), and Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.). But how is it that only two U.S. senators are willing to say that Thomas should step down?

To recap, Thomas didn’t report on his disclosure forms that billionaire Harlan Crow took him on luxury vacations for years and bought property from him at inflated prices, including the home where Thomas’ mother still lives. Thomas, notably, didn’t recuse himself from at least one case where Crow had business before the court.

Sources close to Thomas claimed him not reporting the home sale was an “oversight,” and he said he would amend his forms as appropriate. This is a justice who is famously hostile to defendants and their lawyers who make minor legal mistakes, as law professor Leah Litman noted:

Markey made the comments at a press conference alongside his Massachusetts colleagues Pressley and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who called for reforms to the court. But Warren, for some reason, stopped short of saying Thomas should resign.

The appearance was part of a 20-stop tour to advocate for stronger ethics rules for the nine unelected justices who serve for life and don’t have to follow the same ethical code as every other federal judge. Pretty good timing, given new reporting that Justice Neil Gorsuch didn’t report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income from when the CEO of a law firm that’s often bringing cases to the court bought a property that he co-owns.

In short: Step up and lead, please, Democrats.

Correction, 4/27/23: This story has been corrected to reflect that Rep. Ayanna Pressley has called for Thomas’ resignation.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin