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Press Release | April 6, 2023

House Should Impeach, Durbin Must Investigate Justice Thomas For Ethics Violations

Congressional OversightEthics in Government
House Should Impeach, Durbin Must Investigate Justice Thomas For Ethics Violations

The Justice’s Undisclosed Gifts and Vacations With Conservative Megadonors Make A Mockery Of Appeals To Judicial Decorum

: Max Moran, [email protected]

In response to a ProPublica investigative report revealing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accepted annual luxury vacations and extravagant gifts from conservative megadonor Harlan Crow, Revolving Door Project Executive Director Jeff Hauser issued the following statement:

“If the information in this report is correct — and there is no reason at all to believe that it isn’t — and if the point of the United States judiciary is still to neutrally interpret and uphold the law, then it is obvious what should happen next. The House of Representatives must immediately draw articles of impeachment against Justice Clarence Thomas.”

“However, given House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan’s record, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin cannot realistically rely on the House to do its job. Durbin’s Committee must immediately begin extensive investigations into Thomas’ violations of ethics laws and norms as well as the broader collapse of the Supreme Court’s integrity.”

“Thomas failed even to follow the obscenely weak ethics standards on the books for Supreme Court justices. According to ProPublica, he did not disclose any of Crow’s gifts for more than two decades, in direct violation of post-Watergate laws. Failing to mention all-expense-paid international vacations, gifts of historic artifacts, and private confabs with avowed political activists for over 20 years cannot be chalked up to a string of innocent mistakes. This is a pattern of open contempt for American law from one of the highest legal authorities in the country. It comes on top of Thomas’ wife urging a White House Chief of Staff to overturn the results of a democratic election.”

“No one can reasonably retain a shred of benefit of the doubt in the face of this evidence. Anyone who believes that the law is only legitimate if it applies to everyone should understand and endorse that Durbin must immediately investigate these allegations, that the House must immediately draw articles of impeachment, and that if this information proves accurate, Thomas must immediately leave the bench. Moreover, it should be indisputable that the judiciary as a whole, and the Supreme Court especially, needs far stronger ethical rules and enforcement.”

“Anyone who fails to understand and endorse all of this simply cares more about either conservative political power, maintaining pleasant relations amongst the American elite, or both, than about the democratic principles that grant any legitimacy to the American government.” 

“Jordan almost certainly falls into the first of these categories. It will be a dark stain on the history of the House if he cannot put his ideology and partisanship aside for the sake of the nation, but no reasonable observer can realistically expect him to. In a just world, it would not be as crucial as it is that Durbin picks up after his corresponding member’s near-certain failures. We do not live in a just world. Therefore, as a man who does care about democratic ideals, Durbin has to act clearly and forcefully.”

“And it is incumbent upon the rest of our leaders to support him in doing so. All of those paeans to the legal system upon Donald Trump’s indictment this week mean absolutely nothing if the press, politicians, and fellow members of the judiciary do not speak up now.”


Congressional OversightEthics in Government

More articles by Max Moran

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