Liberal group renews call for Justice Thomas to sit out health case

The liberal advocacy group Health Care for America Now (HCAN) said Thursday that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from a case involving President Obama’s healthcare law.

Thomas previously failed to disclose income his wife earned through work and speaking engagements with groups that oppose the healthcare law. She has also given public speeches calling for its repeal.

“If Justice Thomas fails to recuse himself, it will threaten the integrity of the entire Supreme Court,” HCAN said in a statement.

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) led the push for Thomas's recusal while he was in Congress, but the controversy has quieted somewhat since Weiner resigned. HCAN renewed the call for Thomas to absent himself from the case on the same day the Supreme Court justices met privately to determine how to proceed. An announcement could come Monday.

The court is widely expected to take up the suit filed by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business, and to rule next summer on whether the law’s individual coverage mandate is constitutional.

The calls for Thomas’s recusal match conservative advocates’ effort to get Justice Elena Kagan to sit out the healthcare suit. Kagan was Obama’s solicitor general when the solicitor general’s office began preparing to defend the law in court. But she and her aides have said she was not involved in shaping the administration’s legal strategy.