Demand Justice Thomas Recuse from Moore v. Harper Now

The Supreme Court of the United States is not immune to public pressure.

Don’t believe it? Just ask Republicans who spent the last 50 years working to overturn Roe v. Wade. Or ask everyone from Cornell University[1] and University of Pennsylvania[2] to the University of Oregon[3] and Politico magazine.[4]

This matters because it’s time to turn up the heat on the Supreme Court and demand Justice Clarence Thomas recuse from ruling on Moore v. Harper and any other cases regarding elections, voting rights, and Donald Trump.

This is not a radical demand. The Judicial Code of Ethics which applies to all other federal judges requires a judge to recuse “from hearing any case in which personal entanglements could lead a fair-minded member of the public to question impartiality.”

Each week it seems we learn more and more about the role Justice Thomas' wife, Ginni Thomas, played in efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

She sent at least 21 text messages to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, contacted 29 Arizona state lawmakers (some of them twice), and pressured the chair of the Senate elections committee and at least one other Republican lawmaker in Wisconsin to set aside Biden’s popular-vote victory and “choose” new presidential electors that would vote for Trump.[5]

Just as alarming is that Thomas used the “independent state legislature theory” as the basis for her argument, the same argument at the core of Moore v. Harper, the case soon to be heard by the Supreme Court.

This is the Republicans scheme that could remove American voters from the selection of the next president.

It all hinges on the once-fringe idea called the independent state legislature theory that gives state legislatures the power to disregard the popular vote and substitute their own slate of electors pledged to whoever they wish. The theory perverts the Elections Clause of the Constitution by claiming the lack of specific mention of the judiciary's role in the times, places and manner of holding federal elections means the courts can’t even review the state legislatures decisions.

That means Moore v. Harper could let Republican controlled state legislatures overrule the will of the people and pick the next president of the United States -- without you.

If the Supreme Court were to rule to adopt this principle, they wouldn’t just be ruling against more than a century of judicial precedent, they would be rejecting the lessons that inspired the framers to write the Constitution in the first place. They believed it was dangerous to give state legislatures unchecked power just as much as they believed in the dangers of giving unchecked power to the President.

The Conference of Chief Justices, a bipartisan group representing the chief justices of all 50 state supreme courts, has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to the once-fringe independent state legislature theory that the legislative branch has sole authority to manage federal elections and therefore state courts cannot rule a legislature’s election-related actions are unconstitutional.[6]

John Eastman, Trump’s lawyer who pleaded the fifth before a Georgia grand jury in the Fulton County election-interference probe at the end of August, filed a brief for the conservative Claremont Institute in the case, too. The brief acknowledged that the Supreme Court has ruled against the theory in multiple cases spanning the last century, but all of those rulings got it wrong and the court should undo that precedent now.[7]

We used to be able to depend on the U.S. Supreme Court to adhere to precedent, but if there’s one thing the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade taught us, we simply cannot.

Ginni Thomas irreparably compromises Justice Thomas’ impartiality.

Join more than a dozen other organizations representing more than 10 million Americans in demanding Justice Thomas recuse from Moore v. Harper by adding your name now.

[1] How Public Opinion Constrains the U.S. Supreme Court
[2] Does Public Opinion Influence the Supreme Court?
[3] Does the US Supreme Court Respond to Public Opinion?
[4] The Supreme Court is Now Operating Outside of American Public Opinion
[5] Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice, pressed Ariz. lawmakers to help reverse Trump’s loss, emails show
[6] Chief justices from across the country have a problem with NC’s big Supreme Court case
[7] The court case that could transform U.S. elections