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Impeach Thomas event

Members of Congress and progressive groups gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court on July 28, 2022. (Photo: MoveOn/Twitter)

Petition Demanding Clarence Thomas Impeachment Reaches 1.2 Million

Clarence Thomas, says a MoveOn petition, "has shown he cannot be an impartial justice and is more concerned with covering up his wife's coup attempts than the health of the Supreme Court."

Jessica Corbett

U.S. Reps. Jamaal Bowman and Ilhan Omar joined progressive groups outside the Supreme Court on Thursday to deliver over 1.2 million petition signatures demanding the impeachment of Justice Clarence Thomas.

"This issue is even bigger than impeaching Thomas. We need to reform this broken court."

Hosted by MoveOn, the petition highlights that in his concurring opinion for the June decision that reversed Roe v. Wade and denied the constitutional right to abortion, Thomas "made it clear what's next: to overturn high court rulings that establish gay rights and contraception rights."

Thomas was the only justice who opposed the court's decision to compel the release of former President Donald Trump's records regarding his attempt to steal the 2020 presidential election, and "it has become clear that his wife—longtime conservative activist Ginni Thomas—was actively urging the White House to overturn election results both leading up to January 6 and after the deadly insurrection," the petition states.

"Thomas' failure to recuse himself warrants immediate investigation and heightened alarm," it continues. "And it's only the latest in a long history of conflicts of interest in the service of a right-wing agenda and mixing his powerful role with his conservative political activism."

The petition concludes that Thomas "has shown he cannot be an impartial justice and is more concerned with covering up his wife's coup attempts than the health of the Supreme Court. He must resign—or Congress must immediately investigate and impeach."

Bowman (D-N.Y.) and Omar (D-Minn.), along with members of MoveOn and Demand Progress, echoed that message in their speeches Thursday.

"Let me be clear: Clarence Thomas is a corrupt jurist and should have no place on our highest court," said Omar. "Our failure to hold him accountable will further delegitimize the court, and will embolden other justices to act in lockstep with his actions."

"But this issue is even bigger than impeaching Thomas. We need to reform this broken court," the congresswoman continued, echoing her recent opinion piece in The Nation. "We cannot wait for this extremist, radical, religious right court to strip our rights away one by one."

Omar is calling for term limits and ethics rules for justices, and for expanding the court. Bowman made clear that he also supports those reforms.

"You cannot have a democracy without accountability, and we cannot uphold the ideals of our Constitution without freedom, justice, equality, and opportunity for everyone," Bowman said, sharing that his constituents tell him "they have lost faith in all of our institutions," including the Supreme Court.

Citing the right-wing majority's recent decisions on not only abortion but also Miranda rights, regulation of fossil fuel companies, and state-level gun laws, Bowman declared that the high court "has lost its legitimacy."

"And regarding Clarence Thomas specifically, I cannot believe that we have a sitting member of the Supreme Court whose wife was directly involved not only in the insurrection but trying to overturn the election results right after Donald Trump lost the election," he said.

Bowman argued that "because of his history, because of his wife's involvement, because in his opinions he's crystal clear: he is not about upholding precedent, he is not about interpreting the Constitution, he is about making laws," Congress must take action to "restore faith and hope and trust in our institutions."

"We have to start first and foremost with impeachment proceedings of Clarence Thomas," he stressed. "That will show the American people that we are paying attention and listening, and we know what our job is—the job that they have sent us here to do."

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