AOC files articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, saying that their refusal to recuse from certain prominent cases “constitutes a grave threat to American rule of law.”

In a statement, the New York congresswoman said that justices’ refusal to step aside from cases “in which they hold widely documented financial and personal entanglements” has created an “unchecked corruption crisis on the Supreme Court.”

This, she said, “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.”

The high court did not immediately return a request for comment.

House Oversight And Accountability Members And Watchdog Group Court Accountability Focus On Supreme Court Ethics
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks to journalists following a roundtable discussion on Supreme Court Ethics conducted by Democrats of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee at the Rayburn House Office Building on June 11, 2024 in Washington, DC.Jemal Countess / Getty Images for Court Accountab

In her statement, Ocasio-Cortez said Alito’s impeachment resolution centered on his “refusal to recuse from cases in which he had a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party in cases before the court” and his “failure to disclose financial income, gifts and reimbursements, property interests, liabilities, and transactions, among other information.”

The resolutions were co-sponsored by Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., Delia Ramirez, D-Ill., Maxwell Frost, D-Fla., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. and Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y.

The first charge centers on two controversial flags that were flown outside his homes — an upside-down American flag and an “Appeal to Heaven” flag. Both flags have each been carried in recent years by members of the “Stop the Steal” movement, whose supporters claim that President Joe Biden did not lawfully win the 2020 presidential election. Alito has said it was his wife’s decision to fly the flags.

Alito declined to recuse himself from two Trump-related cases that were pending before the court when the existence of the flags was first reported.

The second charge against Alito appears to refer to Alito’s relationship with hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, who ProPublica reported took Alito on a fishing trip to Alaska that the justice did not disclose in ethics reports. Alito later did not recuse himself from cases involving Singer.

Thomas’ impeachment article centers on his “failure to disclose financial income, gifts and reimbursements, property interests, liabilities, and transactions, among other information, refusal to recuse from matters concerning his spouse’s legal interest in cases before the court [and] refusal to recuse from matters involving his spouse’s financial interest in cases before the court.”

Thomas’ relationship with GOP mega-donor Harlan Crow has been the subject of intense scrutiny for months.

Extensive reporting last year by ProPublica showed that Thomas has accepted lavish gifts like vacations and flights without disclosing them in official ethics forms.

Thomas has also drawn ire from critics over his wife Ginni Thomas’ conservative political activism, particularly her role in former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Arizona.

In the aftermath of the election, Ginni Thomas also sent messages to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, urging him to stand with Trump. Ginni Thomas later said she regretted sending those texts.

Still, Democrats called on Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from two cases involving Trump: a constitutional challenge to the former president’s re-election candidacy and Trump’s presidential immunity claims. Thomas did not recuse himself from either case, both wins for Trump.

He did recuse himself from a separate Jan. 6-related case in Oct. 2023.

First appeared on www.nbcnews.com

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