Schumer says Thomas should recuse himself

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is seen during a press conference following the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Tuesday said Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should recuse himself, the latest Democrat to call for the justice to step aside amid controversy over text messages his wife sent to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows regarding the 2020 election.

“I do think he should recuse himself,” Schumer said when asked during a news conference for his thoughts on fellow Democrats calling for the justice to step aside.

“The information we know right now raises serious questions about how close Justice Thomas and his wife were to the planning and execution of the insurrection,” he added.

Schumer is one of a number of Democrats to call for Thomas’s recusal in the wake of reports that his wife, conservative activist Ginni Thomas, texted with Meadows about efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Ginni Thomas pushed for efforts to overturn the election results in the text messages.

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill), the No. 2 Senate Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from Jan. 6-related cases on Monday, saying Ginni Thomas’s connection “really creates an obvious conflict” for the justice in cases associated with the fatal attack.

Republicans, however, have come to Thomas’ defense. Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said he is “fully confident” in Thomas’ “ability to do his job in an impartial way,” and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said “I think Justice Thomas could make his decisions like he’s made them every other time.”

Schumer on Tuesday also endorsed a code of ethics for Supreme Court justice.

“I think there should be some kind of code of ethics for Supreme Court justices,” the majority leader told reporters.

News of the text messages between Thomas and Meadows has sparked calls for a code of ethics pertaining to the Supreme Court.

Updated 4:28 p.m.

Tags Chuck Schumer Clarence Thomas Dick Durbin John Thune Kevin McCarthy Mark Meadows

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