Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has demanded that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recuse himself from the court’s upcoming decision on former president and current GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s appeal of his removal from the Colorado ballot.
Last month, the Colorado Supreme Court blocked Trump from appearing on the state’s ballot for supposedly engaging in an “insurrection.” Trump immediately appealed the decision, pointing out that he had never been convicted of such a crime and arguing that he had been deprived of his due process rights in the court’s ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case.
The Colorado Supreme Court decision keeping President Trump off the ballot will likely be overturned by the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/GKuwD4JvYg
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 4, 2024
Ocasio-Cortez has demanded that Thomas, arguably the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court, recuse himself from the case because of his wife’s alleged “attempts to rig the 2020 election.”
“It’s very clear: Clarence Thomas and, rather, his wife, Ginni, participated in the events of Jan. 6, and now what is likely coming before the Supreme Court is a judgment as to whether an event that his wife participated in, that his wife has been investigated by in the Jan. 6 committee, qualifies as an insurrection,” the Democrat congresswoman claimed in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday.
“Clarence Thomas’s decision on that, one way or another, and overall the court’s decision on that, would directly implicate his wife, and so, this is just one of the most classic, textbook conflicts of interest, and it would frankly be a scandal if he did not recuse himself,” she added.
Ocasio-Cortez and seven other House Democrats made similar claims in a letter to Thomas last week, arguing that he needed to recuse himself because his wife “attended the January 6 rally” and “was instrumental in planning it and bringing the insurrectionists to the Capitol.”
“It is unthinkable that you could be impartial in deciding whether an event your wife personally organized qualifies as an ‘insurrection’ that would prevent someone from holding the office of president,” the Democrats’ letter continued.
During her Monday interview with Cooper, Ocasio-Cortez insisted that Clarence Thomas had established a “precedent” when he withdrew from another January 6-related case involving former Trump legal advisor John Eastman in October 2022.
However, the Supreme Court justice did not provide any explanation for his recusal in that case. Despite this, Ocasio-Cortez maintained that this recusal was enough to force Clarence Thomas to remove himself from the Colorado case, especially because a document exists showing correspondence between Ginni Thomas and Eastman.
“I think our hope is that Clarence Thomas has shown that he is going to recuse himself from a case, this is one of the most direct implications that he has with respect to perhaps one of any of the cases that has come before the court,” Ocasio-Cortez told Cooper. “This truly is not even about partisan point scoring. This is about the integrity of the court,” the congresswoman said. “And to not recuse oneself from a case where a justice is so deeply involved would have larger ramifications not just for Clarence Thomas but for the Supreme Court overall.”
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains to Anderson why she thinks Supreme Court Justice Thomas needs to recuse himself from the Colorado ballot case. pic.twitter.com/HORyvS59ah
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 9, 2024