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Lawmakers Call on Clarence Thomas to Resign — or Be Impeached

A bombshell article has revealed that Thomas has received dozens of vacations from a network of billionaire friends.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas testifies during a hearing before the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee on April 15, 2010, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Democrats and government watchdogs are reupping their calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to be removed from the Supreme Court either through resignation or impeachment after some of the most damning findings yet about the conservative justice’s mountain of improprieties were made public this week.

“Today’s a good day to impeach Clarence Thomas,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan).

On Thursday, ProPublica published another bombshell report on Thomas’s relationship with billionaire benefactors, this time detailing a whopping 38 destination vacations, including 26 private jet flights, and a host of other gifts, all given to him by a network of billionaires that Thomas keeps as close friends. By failing to disclose many of these gifts, it’s likely that Thomas has broken the law numerous times, ethics experts said.

The sheer amount of gifts, likely worth millions of dollars, is staggering; one former federal judge and expert on judges’ financial disclosures, Jeremy Fogel, said it’s likely “unprecedented.”

“In my career I don’t remember ever seeing this degree of largesse given to anybody,” Fogel told ProPublica.

The revelations add to a long list of scandals uncovered in recent months surrounding Thomas, who is one of the furthest right justices on an already conservative Supreme Court.

“If a new corruption scandal is coming to light about you every single day of the week that ends in the word ‘day,’ you probably shouldn’t be a Supreme Court justice with a lifetime appointment that has no code of conduct,” Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pennsylvania) wrote on Thursday. “Looking at you Clarence Thomas…”

Lee, who is one of several Democratic lawmakers who have called for Thomas to be impeached after the report, also pointed out that she had called for a vote on impeaching Thomas in April, when ProPublica’s first report revealed Thomas’s close relationship with and lavish gifts from GOP billionaire Harlan Crow.

Other lawmakers have called on Thomas to resign.

“Cruel, callous and corrupt. While he rips away our rights, Clarence Thomas shamelessly cashes in from billionaires who share his extremist ideology,” tweeted Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts). “Thomas must resign and Congress must pass a binding code of ethics for Supreme Court justices.”

“Justice Thomas has brought shame upon himself and the United States Supreme Court with his acceptance of massive, repeated and undisclosed gifts,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) said. “No government official, elected or unelected, could ethically or legally accept gifts of that scale. He should resign immediately.”

Thomas has been facing calls to resign for over a year now. Even before the revelations of his billionaire benefactors came out, lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) were calling on him to resign last year over his failure to recuse himself from cases involving the January 6 attack on the Capitol, due to the role of his wife, Ginni Thomas, in organizing the attack.

But neither impeachment nor resignation are likely to happen. The justice has waved away the allegations that his failure to report his gifts was unlawful, unconvincingly saying that he “was advised” that he didn’t need to report the gifts, despite ethics experts resoundingly saying he did. Meanwhile, Republicans are standing staunchly by Thomas, seeing no issue with the vast amounts of corruption in the Supreme Court that is currently delivering the GOP win after win.

It’s unclear if Thomas will face discipline otherwise. Chief Justice John Roberts has declined to rein in Thomas or publicly reprimand him, while Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have not subpoenaed anyone related to the scandals or even called on Thomas to be removed, despite their consistent criticism of corruption on the Supreme Court.

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