We’re only a few weeks away from the Supreme Court’s likely official release of its draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade—so it’s time for another media attack on Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of the conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the five who signed the draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.
“The messages show that Thomas, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, was more deeply involved in the effort to overturn Biden’s win than has been previously reported,” the Post’s journalistic moralists intoned. “In sending the emails, Thomas played a role in the extraordinary scheme to keep Trump in office by substituting the will of legislatures for the will of voters.”
“Extraordinary scheme”? In fact, Biden had won swing-state Arizona by only about 10,000 votes, and although a later bipartisan investigation found no systematic election fraud, there had been irregularities in the reception and counting of mail-in ballots that have led to calls for reform.
As for defying the “will of voters”—remember the 2016 presidential election? That was the season of media promotion of so-called “faithless electors” embodying the vain hope of many Democrats that state electors might, yes, defy the will of the voters who had made Trump the winner in their home states and instead send Hillary Clinton to the White House.
Signer, then the mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, argued that the drafters of the Constitution actually intended for presidential electors to set aside the votes of their states’ constituents in order to prevent an “unquestionable demagogue” like Trump from taking office. Since Article 2 of the Constitution also gives state legislatures broad discretion to appoint electors, Ginni Thomas’s pleas to Arizona legislators to take a second look at the 2020 results in that state scarcely seem eyebrow-raising in light of the left’s efforts to influence electoral votes in 2016.
“It’s just the most recent example where she has been involved in activities that directly or indirectly place her activism before the court, and her husband does not care how corrupt it looks,” Tomasky wrote.
Lithwick praised a recent push by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other congressional Democrats to impose “a binding code of conduct” on Supreme Court justices that would presumably bar Clarence Thomas from hearing future Trump-related disputes.
But anyone who thinks that the media’s smear crusade against Ginni Thomas is actually about Jan. 6 or Donald Trump ought to think again. The real target isn’t Clarence Thomas’s unwillingness to recuse himself in a documents-release case relating to a former president whom his wife vociferously supported. It’s Clarence Thomas himself.
Right now, at age 73 and with the impending retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer, he is the most age-vulnerable member of the Supreme Court, and there were plenty of progressives gleefully hoping for his death when he was recently hospitalized.
As Jane Mayer pointed out in the New Yorker, Ginni Thomas has been active in pro-life as well as pro-Trump causes, and thanks to the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion on abortion, we know her husband’s constitutional views on that issue, too.
It would be nice for progressives, wouldn’t it, if our system could legally force the recusal—or better yet, the impeachment—of every conservative Supreme Court justice whose spouse expressed forceful views on this and other conservative issues? We might start with the neutralization of Clarence Thomas.