Regulation

Ginni Thomas urged Arizona lawmakers to reverse Biden’s win: report

Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, urged Arizona lawmakers to intervene after former President Trump’s 2020 electoral defeat in the state, pressing them to set aside Joe Biden’s slate of electors and put forth “a clean slate of Electors,” according to The Washington Post.

The newly revealed communications came in emails Ginni Thomas sent on Nov. 9, 2020 — six days after the election — to a pair of lawmakers, pressing them to work on Trump’s behalf and “fight back against fraud,” according to the Post.

The explosive revelation adds a new layer of detail to previous reporting on Thomas’s efforts in the weeks after the 2020 election. The Post previously reported that she strategized with Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows over how to bypass the will of American voters to install Trump for a second White House term despite his loss to Biden, an outcome she described as an “obvious fraud” and “the greatest heist of our history.”

The correspondence is likely to reignite ethical questions over Clarence Thomas, who has participated in at least nine rulings related to the 2020 election and who in three decades on the bench has never recused himself due to a real or perceived conflict of interest resulting from his wife’s political activities.

Neither Ginni Thomas nor a spokesperson for the Supreme Court immediately responded to requests for comment.

According to the Post, Ginni Thomas’s name also appeared on an email sent to the pair of Arizona Republican lawmakers on Dec. 13, the day before Electoral College meetings would be held in states to formalize Biden’s victory, with Thomas claiming in her email that the lawmakers had the authority to “choose” their state’s electors. 

The recipients were Russell Bowers, speaker of the Arizona House, and Shawnna Bolick, a fellow state House member who served on the elections committee in 2020. Bolick’s husband, Clinton Bolick, is a former colleague of Clarence Thomas, who is godfather of one of the Bolick’s sons.

The basis of Ginni Thomas’s legal claim appears to derive from the “independent state legislature” doctrine, a constitutional interpretation holding that state lawmakers have ultimate say over who is chosen as electors. The theory was pressed in numerous 2020 election lawsuits in an effort to invalidate a number of pandemic-era accommodations like expanded mail voting that were put in place not by state legislatures, but by state election officials and judges.

Trump-allied lawyers went on to use the theory to argue that allied Republican lawmakers in key swing states could legally swap pro-Trump electors for Biden’s valid slate of electors in states he won.

Clarence Thomas is among three or more conservative Supreme Court justices who have endorsed a strong view of this doctrine.

Tags Arizona Clarence Thomas Clarence Thomas Donald Trump Ginni Thomas Joe Biden

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