Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has enraged Democrats with his originalist and textualist interpretation of the United States Constitution which often defeats their attempts to bypass the document to implement their illegal plans for America. Their latest plan to get around Thomas and his fellow justices is to attempt to force Thomas to recuse himself from cases because his wife has opinions on political issues in America. At The Federalist, Mark Paoletta douses their flames, writing:
Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni Thomas continue to expose the left’s double standards and downright gaslighting on Supreme Court ethics and marriages. In 2022, it’s astonishing to read and hear that Justice Thomas must recuse himself from cases because of his wife’s views on the 2020 election.
After she was interviewed by the Jan. 6 Committee, many on the left lost their minds because Ginni Thomas had concerns that there were fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election. Many claimed that because of this her husband must recuse from any case on this topic or any topic on which she has opined.
The corporate media and leftist hypocrisy is on full display, as there is a celebrated case on which they took exactly the opposite view. But back then it involved an extremely left-wing federal judge refusing to recuse from a case even though his equally left-wing wife publicly opined on the case.
That judge’s wife’s organization had even joined two amicus briefs in the litigation. Several judicial ethics professors filed a brief supporting this decision and implied you would be a sexist pig if you thought otherwise.
When the Shoe Was on the Left Foot
In 2011, Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused to recuse from a case on appeal regarding a challenge to Proposition 8, the same-sex marriage ban to the California constitution. There was great outrage at this amendment from many groups, including the ACLU of Southern California (ACLU-SC).
This group’s leader, Ramona Ripston, vocally opposed this law. The ACLU-SC also joined two amicus briefs in the district court arguing that this amendment violated the U.S. Constitution. At the time, Ripston was married to Judge Reinhardt.
When the case came up on appeal before Judge Reinhardt, he refused to recuse. His opinion setting forth his reasons should be read aloud, and then read again, by every critic who believes that Justice Thomas must recuse himself because of his wife’s views.
Here are some excerpts from his opinion: “[M]y wife and I share many fundamental interests by virtue of our marriage, but her views regarding issues of public significance are her own, and cannot be imputed to me, no matter how prominently she expresses them. … It is her view, and I agree, that she has the right to perform her professional duties without regard to whatever my views may be, and that I should do the same without regard to hers. … The views are hers, not mine, and I do not in any way condition my opinions on the positions she takes regarding any issues.”
Applying the legal standard for recusal, Judge Reinhardt wrote, “My wife has no ‘interest’ in the outcome of this case that might be substantially affected by its outcome, over and beyond the interest of any American with a strong view concerning the social issues that confront this nation.” Judge Reinhardt then ruled exactly as his wife and her organization advocated, striking down the same-sex marriage ban amendment.
Five judicial ethics experts, including Professor Stephen Gillers, filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting this decision.
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