“Justice Thomas’ alleged actions don’t just appear corrupt, they are corrupt,” said Rep. Ted Lieu. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), for her part, wrote Thursday, “Today’s a good day to impeach Clarence Thomas.”
By Jake Johnson
Several House Democrats on Thursday pushed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to immediately resign after the investigative outlet ProPublica revealed fresh details about the powerful judge’s billionaire-funded—and undisclosed—luxury vacations.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that Thomas’ “alleged actions are not just shocking, they are illegal.”
“Disclosure laws like the ones Justice Thomas allegedly violated are meant to provide transparency and prevent corruption,” Lieu added. “Justice Thomas’ alleged actions don’t just appear corrupt, they are corrupt because of the unprecedented scale of his ethical and legal violations. Justice Thomas has brought shame upon himself and eroded the credibility of the Supreme Court. Justice Thomas should resign immediately.”
ProPublica reported Thursday that Thomas has taken at least 38 luxury trips on the dime of ultrawealthy executives and Republican donors, some of whom have had business interests reach the high court.
The outlet noted that “while some of the hospitality, such as stays in personal homes, may not have required disclosure, Thomas appears to have violated the law by failing to disclose flights, yacht cruises, and expensive sports tickets.”
ProPublica‘s detailed account of the gifts Thomas has received for decades from a group of right-wing executives renewed outrage over the Supreme Court’s lack of ethical standards. Unlike every other federal court in the U.S., the Supreme Court does not have a binding code of ethics, providing an opening for justices to take dozens of private jet flights and stay at luxury resorts with the help of conservative billionaires.
“No justice should accept these types of gifts,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said Thursday. “Thomas has repeatedly brought dishonor and ethical malpractice to our highest court. I reiterate my call that he must resign. This is exactly why we need SCOTUS ethics reform.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called Thomas’ conduct “unprecedented,” “stunning,” and “disgusting,” writing that it is “the height of hypocrisy to wear the robes of a SCOTUS [justice] and take undisclosed gifts from billionaires who benefit from your decisions.”
“Resign,” she added.
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) joined his colleagues in demanding Thomas’ resignation, slamming the right-wing justice as “corrupt as hell.”
Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Reprinting of this article is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).