- McConnell has rejected calls for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from SCOTUS matters related to Jan. 6.
- “This performative outrage is not serious,” the GOP leader said. “It’s a political stunt.”
- Several Democratic lawmakers have in recent days called on Thomas to resign from the court.
On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced criticism from Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for his handling of Jan. 6-related cases, dismissing calls for the jurist to recuse himself or resign as a ” inappropriate pressure campaign”.
The Kentucky Republican – who voted to confirm Thomas to the Supreme Court in 1991 and played a leading role in installing three conservative jurists on the court during former President Donald Trump’s tenure – rejected the concerns as a “coordinated effort to nullify” the presence of justice on the seek.
“The left’s quest to delegitimize the Supreme Court has found its final outlet,” McConnell told the Senate. “Washington Democrats are now trying to bully this exemplary judge of more than 30 years out of entire legal matters, or out of court entirely.”
Last Thursday, the Washington Post and CBS News reported 29 text messages exchanged between former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Thomas’ wife, conservative activist Ginni Thomas, in which Ginni urged the White House to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Since then, more than two dozen Democratic lawmakers have demanded that Thomas recuse himself from cases involving the Jan. 6 insurrection and produce a written explanation for his decision not to not recuse himself from previous cases in the high court relating to January 6. also expressed concerns that Ginni Thomas’ political activities present a conflict of interest for her husband.
McConnell has largely rejected calls from several progressive lawmakers — including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — for Thomas to step down or face impeachment.
“Far-left members of the House are talking about dusting off impeachment addiction from their party for the third year in a row,” he said. “Make no mistake. This performative outrage is not serious. It is a political stunt, part of the liberals’ years-long quest to delegitimize the Court.”
Ocasio-Cortez Tuesday tweeted a scathing indictment of Thomas, stating that his refusal to “recuse himself from matters involving his wife” required an investigation.
McConnell argued that Democrats have sought for years to “bully” conservative justices “on the basis of spurious accusations about bogus ethical issues or bias.” He called on Thomas to “ignore” the latest criticism.
“This new campaign of inappropriate pressure is just the continuation of that well-worn pattern,” he said. “It has no basis in Judge Thomas’ decades of impeccable service on the bench. The judiciary and the entire Court should feel free to ignore it.”
McConnell also criticized Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York for his 2020 comments in which the Democratic lawmaker said Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh would “pay the price” if they tried to restrict the right to abortion.
“In 2020, the Democratic leader himself stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and threatened several sitting justices by name if they failed to achieve the political outcome the Liberals want,” he said. declared.