AOC Files Articles of Impeachment Against Thomas and Alito

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez filed articles of impeachment on Wednesday against Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

While the articles are unlikely to pass muster in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, the move is a rebuke to the two conservative justices, who have recently been accused of improper relationships with wealthy Republican donors.

“Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito’s pattern of refusal to recuse from consequential matters before the court in which they hold widely documented financial and personal entanglements constitutes a grave threat to American rule of law, the integrity of our democracy, and one of the clearest cases for which the tool of impeachment was designed,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a statement announcing the articles of impeachment.

“Justice Thomas and Alito’s repeated failure over decades to disclose that they received millions of dollars in gifts from individuals with business before the court is explicitly against the law. And their refusal to recuse from the specific matters and cases before the court in which their benefactors and spouses are implicated represents nothing less than a constitutional crisis,” she added.

The articles accuse both Thomas and Alito of failing to disclose “income, gifts and reimbursements, property interests, liabilities, and transactions, among other information.”

ProPublica has reported on Thomas’ relationship with billionaire Harlan Crow, who lavished the justice with rides on private jets and luxury yachts, expensive vacations, tuition payments, and even the purchase of properties. Alito similarly accepted trips and other luxury boons from billionaire Paul Singer, and later adjudicated a case involving Singer that came before the court.

Both justices are also accused of “refusal to recuse from cases in which he had a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party in cases before the court.” Thomas and Alito have both been accused of violating ethics norms by ruling on cases involving the events of January 6 when questions have been raised about their views on the Capitol riot. Two flags associated with sympathy for the “Stop the Steal” movement flew outside of Alito’s residences — though he blamed his wife for their presence. Thomas’ wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, was involved in post-election efforts to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence into interfering with the certification of the Electoral College.

Ginni Thomas was also on the payroll of conservative dark money groups who brought several matters before the court. This landed Thomas a third article of impeachment “refusal to recuse from matters involving his spouse’s financial interest in cases before the court.”

With no existing, binding code of ethics to hold Supreme Court justices to account for their off-the-bench dealings, Democrats have pushed legislation that would “require Supreme Court justices to adopt a code of conduct, create a mechanism to investigate alleged violations of the code of conduct and other laws, improve disclosure and transparency when a justice has a connection to a party or amicus before the Court, and require justices to explain their recusal decisions to the public.”

But with a split Congress and little advancement down the legislative path, Ocasio-Cortez wrote that “it is incumbent upon Congress to contain the threat this poses to our democracy and the hundreds of millions of Americans harmed by the crisis of corruption unfurling within the court. Congress has a legal, moral, and democratic obligation to impeach.”

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