Senior Democrat says Clarence Thomas should recuse himself in Trump case

‘He absolutely should recuse himself. The question is, what do we do if he doesn’t recuse himself?’ ex-constitutional law professor Jamie Raskin says

Gustaf Kilander
Sunday 31 December 2023 21:03

Related video: Jamie Raskin blasts GOP effort to impeach Biden

Maryland Democratic Rep Jamie Raskin has called on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from the court’s hearing on former President Donald Trump’s claim that he’s immune from prosecution on charges stemming from his actions as commander-in-chief.

“The Supreme Court has developed what they’re describing as a code of ethics. It’s not binding in the sense that they’re not going to anyone else,” Mr Raskin, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, told CNN on Sunday. “They could have gone to for example circuit court justices, so they’re deciding for themselves again whether they’re in violation of their code of ethics.”

“But anybody looking at this in any kind of dispassionate, reasonable way would say, ‘if your wife was involved in the big lie, in claiming that Donald Trump had actually won the presidential election and had been agitating for that and participating this the events leading up to January 6th, that you shouldn’t be participating’,” Mr Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, added.

“He absolutely should recuse himself. The question is, what do we do if he doesn’t recuse himself?” he said regarding Justice Thomas.

Emails connected to former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows show that Justice Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas, was one of many Trump supporters who pushed state legislatures to reject President Joe Biden’s election victory.

Justice Thomas was the focus of a corruption scandal regarding lavish gifts from GOP donors, and earlier this month it was reported that he suggested that he may leave the court over what he thought was the low salaries for justices. He was making $173,600 at the time.

On Saturday, Democratic Sen Jeff Merkley called on Justice Thomas to resign.

“A justice with no ethics doesn’t belong on the Supreme Court. Clarence Thomas should resign. And we should insist on a real, enforceable code of ethics for SCOTUS!” he wrote on X.

Mr Raskin faced some criticism for his comments, with conservative commentator Steve Guest saying “Dems want to destroy the Supreme Court.”

RNC Research called the scholar “delusional”.

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