Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Should Not Be Impeached


Gabriella Nerger, Staff writer

The Supreme Court is under intense scrutiny after a leaked decision shows the court may overturn of Roe v. Wade, the case that legalizes abortion in the United States.

However, long before the leak, Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative member of the court, has been facing his own intense scrutiny.

On March 20, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington D.C. for flu-like symptoms. While he battled an infection, an uproaring fight outside the hospital doors picked up where many are calling for his impeachment. 

One reason behind calling for his impeachment is due to Thomas’s wife, conservative activist Virginia “Gini” Thomas, who played a major role in the backlash due to her short attendance at the Jan. 6, 2021 rally, which turned into violence against the Capitol. Furthermore, she sent controversial text messages to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that aimed to reject the results of the 2020 election. 

Gini’s presence led to the question of whether Thomas should recuse himself from matters relating to the 2020 election, more specifically, the investigation into the Jan. 6 riot.

Thomas was the only Justice who would accept Trump’s request to withhold documents from the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot. 

Columnist Wajahat Ali of the New York Times, tweeted “I hope he comes back healthy. Then, he should be impeached. He’s an utterly compromised Justice.”

There are House progressives who want an investigation and potential impeachment of Thomas. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) have spoken in support of the possibility of impeachment over Mrs.Thomas’s texts. U.S. Representative, Ilhan Omar, also tweeted “Clarence Thomas needs to be impeached.” 

Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, made a statement posted on Twitter, “He is hopelessly compromised, conflicted, and corrupt, and he must be impeached IMMEDIATELY.” 

Mrs.Thomas wrote an email to Mark Paoletta, an attorney, at The Federalist, “Since early November, I have been on sabbatical from my politics and meetings, postings and all – which is new and super challenging for me…I owe you all an apology, I have likely imposed on you my lifetime passions.”

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, argued that the urge to impeach Thomas, especially with the controversy against his wife, was symbolic of a culture that admires impeachment rather than justice. 

“In modern American politics,” Turley said in an article, “it often seems like the only tool is impeachment and every controversy instantly becomes a high crime and misdemeanor.”

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) spoke out that Mrs.Thomas is an “independent, adult woman,” and with that, he should not recuse himself from cases related to Jan. 6 or face impeachment. 

I previously watched Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, which dives into Thomas’s life from living in poverty to becoming a Supreme Court Justice. I’ve grown to admire him.

In the documentary, Thomas discusses his childhood and relationship with the Catholic Church. He dives into how he was nurtured by his grandfather, Myers Anderson, in his Georgia home. He called his grandparents’ house a “palace”, compared to the home he was living in with his mother. 

Anderson gave Thomas his values that were directed from the Bible. His philosophy was rooted in the role of his grandfather, and being a member of the Catholic Church. 

Justice Thomas grew up in poverty and was confronted with serious obstacles he had to overcome from an early age. 

Additionally, Thomas discussed that the nuns at the segregated Catholic school he attended influenced him. He said that he felt loved by them and he believed that they were on his side. Thomas initially wanted to become a priest and attended seminary before he went to college. Unfortunately, he left due to racist incidents. 

After leaving the seminary, he received a full scholarship from the College of the Holy Cross, and Thomas decided to attend there. While attending, the people he was surrounded by didn’t take his religion seriously, even though it was a Jesuit school. 

These influences led to Thomas not attending church and believing that race was his religion. Justice Thomas lost faith in his religion and participated in an anti-war demonstration in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He soon realized that he was full of anger, in which he decided to go back to Holy Cross and knelt in front of the Holy Cross chapel and prayed to get the anger out of his heart.

Later, he began working for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where he began to dive into the history of law. There he found a passion for equality in the Declaration of Independence.

After learning more about Justice Thomas’s life before the court, my opinion of where he stands presently has reshaped. I have grown to admire Thomas for his dedication to equality. 

He has spoken very heavily about how “all men are created equal” and how that has weighed into his opinions within the Court. In saying this, I believe that Justice Thomas should not be recused from cases regarding January 6 and the 2020 election.

Learning about how devoted Thomas was to his religion at such a young age adds to my opinion of him. When he spoke about how the antiwar protest made him realize his inner anger, Thomas went back to his faith. In my mind, he went, stood up, and went back to what he believed in. That is what a true leader is, and I don’t believe a determined figure should get impeached. 

Justice Thomas is the second black justice to serve on the Court. He is known for his quiet demeanor and lack of questions during oral arguments. 

One case that he added heavily to was District of Columbia v. Heller, a gun control case, where Thomas contributed to former Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion. Additionally, he is known for Good News Club v. Milford Central School, a case that violated the First Amendment for not allowing a school religious club. 

Thomas has served the court for over 30 years, and he continues to contribute to multiple cases per year. 

I don’t believe that Mrs.Thomas’s involvement will impact her husband’s duty in the Court. I credit opposing opinions, but I trust that Justice Thomas will commit to his duty of serving his country with equality and justice. 

I also think that those who support Justice Thomas’s impeachment dislike how he is the only black male justice who is conservative. Also, I feel that the threat of impeachment is just smack-talk, and I honestly imagine that Thomas will not be impeached. 

This is not the only time the threat of impeachment against conservatives, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump, Attorney General Bill Barr, and other cabinet members. 

The topic of impeachment is a recurring topic in the media and on the congressional floor. The dispute about the impeachment of Justice Thomas has dyed down, but I am sure that this will be an ongoing debate on both political sides.