House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday took congressional Democrats’ demands for Justice Clarence Thomas’ recusal from Jan. 6-related cases up a notch, following revelations of his wife’s pro-coup texts.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference on Thursday, Pelosi didn’t mince words when asked whether she agrees with members of her caucus calling for Justice Thomas’ resignation now that the extent of his wife’s involvement in Trump’s election subversion efforts has been revealed.
“I don’t think he should’ve ever been appointed,” Pelosi said, before saying that she wouldn’t directly address some of her colleagues’ calls for Justice Thomas’ resignation.
Pelosi, however, urged the House to pass a standalone bill to impose a code of ethics on Supreme Court justices.
“They have no code of ethics and — really? It’s the Supreme Court of the United States,” Pelosi said. “They’re making judgments about the air we breathe and we don’t even know what their ethical standard is?”
“Why should they have lower standards than members of Congress?” Pelosi continued.
Pelosi then argued that Ginni Thomas’ damning pro-coup texts to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in the weeks after the 2020 presidential election demonstrates Justice Thomas’ lack of “ethical standards.”
“I hear people say from time to time, ‘well, it’s a personal decision of a judge as to whether he should recuse himself,” Pelosi said. “Well if your wife is an admitted and proud contributor to a coup of our country, maybe you should weigh that in your ethical standards.”
A growing number of Democrats in recent days have called for Justice Thomas’ recusal in light of his wife’s explosive texts in which she relentlessly urged Meadows find a way to overturn the election results and “release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down.”
Some Democrats went further, however, demanding that the justice resign altogether, pointing to Ginni Thomas’ longtime conservative activism, the extent of which has only recently been revealed. Democrats and many legal scholars agree her activism poses potential conflicts of interest for her husband as he hears cases related to last year’s deadly Capitol insurrection and efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
On the other side of the aisle, GOP senators in recent days have largely avoided engaging with calls for Justice Thomas to recuse himself. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has maintained his defense of Justice Thomas, characterizing calls for his recusal from election cases as part of an “inappropriate pressure campaign” by Democrats.
Watch Pelosi’s remarks below: