Three members of "The Squad" have renewed calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to be impeached following a bombshell report on his relationship with a major Republican donor, however their Democratic colleagues have so far called for lesser measures.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — all members of the progressive “Squad” — have called for Thomas to be impeached following revelations that he received lavish gifts and trips from a Republican billionaire donor over the course of his career on the court.
The ProPublica report that exposed the alleged gifts sparked outrage from Democrats, but the trio of progressive House Democrats have so far been alone in calls for his impeachment.
“This is beyond party or partisanship,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter last week. “This degree of corruption is shocking — almost cartoonish. Thomas must be impeached.”
“I've said it before and I'll say it again: Clarence Thomas needs to be impeached,” Omar said on Twitter on the same day.
Tlaib noted public confidence in the court was at “an all time low” and blasted Thomas for accepting" luxury trips from a billionaire mega-donor while doing the bidding of right-wing extremists from the bench.”
“Thomas must be impeached and SCOTUS needs a binding code of ethics,” Tlaib said on Twitter.
Thomas has defended his actions, saying he was advised early in his tenure on the court that he did not have to report trips from "close personal friends."
"I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have always sought to comply with the disclosure guidelines,” Thomas added.
While those House progressives have called for Thomas to be impeached, other Democrats have backed a probe into Thomas and efforts to create an enforceable code of conduct.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the top lawmaker on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said his panel would act on the allegations laid out in the report.
“The highest court in the land shouldn’t have the lowest ethical standards,” Durbin said in a statement last week. “Today’s report demonstrates, yet again, that Supreme Court Justices must be held to an enforceable code of conduct… the Senate Judiciary Committee will act.”
A group of 16 congressional Democrats, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), sent a letter to Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts urging him to launch an investigation into the claims against Thomas.
“We believe that it is your duty as Chief Justice ‘to safeguard public faith in the judiciary,’ and that fulfilling that duty requires swift, thorough, independent and transparent investigation into these allegations,” the letter reads.