On Thursday, Progressive representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and other congressional leaders called for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas amid reports he failed to disclose that he accepted gifts from a Republican megadonor.
It appears that the timespan of reports occurred over two decades uncovered by ProPublica. A report found that Thomas took luxury trips on yachts, retreats, and private jets owned by Texas businessman Harlan Crow without reporting them on financial disclosure forms. The revelations promoted criticism by Democrats since he is the longest-serving justice and influential voice in the rightwing majority.
“This is beyond party or partisanship. This degree of corruption is shocking – almost cartoonish,” Ocasio-Cortez tweets. “Thomas must be impeached. Barring some dramatic change, this is what the Roberts court will be known for: rank corruption, erosion of democracy, and the stripping of human rights.”
The Supreme Court recently increased the level of disclosure required for justices including the high court justices, although overnight stays at personal homes owned by friends remain exempt from disclosure. This is where offense blurs the line as Thomas’s friendship with Crow has enabled him to experience luxuries he would never have been able to afford on his salary of $285, 000. For example, Thomas and his wife flew on Crow’s jet to Indonesia for nine days island-hopping on Crow’s yacht. This trip would have cost more than $500,000.
“Thomas’ repeated mockery of basic ethical standards calls into question every decision he has imposed on millions of Americans.”
As of now, Thomas has not provided a response nor has the court responded to a request for comment.
And impeachment remains unlikely as the only ever supreme court justice to be acquitted and impeached was Samuel Chase in 1804-05.
“The American people want to believe that the court is fair, that the justices behave ethically, and that their decisions are free from undue political influence.”