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Out him for breaking the law

ROBERT REICH DEC 22
 
 

Friends,

Trump’s legal problems are mounting — with growing probability of criminal prosecutions over his staging an attempted coup, stealing top-secret documents, and illegally avoiding taxes.

You know where all this is going to end up, right? The Supreme Court.

What are the chance that Trump’s three appointees along with the two rightwing justices already on the high court when Trump was elected, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, will allow the former president to be locked up?

I can’t predict. That they were appointed by Trump or another Republican president does not pose an illegal conflict of interest.

But I’ll tell you what is clearly an illegal conflict of interest: Clarence Thomas’s continued participation in any case arising from Trump’s attempted coup.

A federal law — 28 U.S. Code § 455 — requires that “any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

If Thomas fails to recuse himself from the Moore v. Harper case currently before the Court, he will be breaking that law. The bogus “independent state legislature” theory at the heart of Moore v. Harper was used by Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, to pressure state lawmakers to overturn the 2020 election results.

Given these extraordinary actions by Ginni Thomas in the wake of the 2020 election, surely it’s reasonable to question the impartiality of Clarence Thomas.

Let’s be clear: The legal issue here is not whether Clarence Thomas is in fact impartial. The point of the federal law governing judicial conflicts of interest is to preserve the public’s trust in our legal system by eliminating even the appearance of partiality.

Thomas’s refusal to recuse himself from Moore v. Harper would further damage the integrity of the Court.

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