AOC Files Articles Of Impeachment Against Justices Alito, Thomas

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez filed articles of impeachment against conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez filed articles of impeachment against conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) followed through on her threat to file articles of impeachment against conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas on Wednesday, accusing them of promoting a “corruption crisis” on the court for failing to disclose gifts and recuse from certain cases.

“Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito’s pattern of refusal to recuse from consequential matters before the court in which they hold widely documented financial and personal entanglements constitutes a grave threat to the American rule of law, the integrity of our democracy, and one of the clearest cases for which the tool of impeachment was designed,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement Wednesday.

The articles are unlikely to gain traction in the GOP-led House, but the move keeps the majority-conservative court front and center as Democrats confront divisions over whether President Joe Biden should be the party’s presidential nominee. It also continues Democratic efforts to hold the court accountable, along with legislation that would limit the value of gifts justices can receive.

Ocasio-Cortez filed two articles against Alito and three against Thomas. The accusations against Thomas include “failure to disclose financial income, gift and reimbursements, property interests, liabilities, and transactions, among other information.” The allegations against Alito include “refusal to recuse from cases in which he had a personal bias or prejudice,” after reports that Alito flew flags at his homes associated the with the movement to overturn the 2020 election. Alito has said it was his wife’s decision to fly the flags.

Last year, ProPublica reported that Alito did not disclose a 2008 trip with billionaire Paul Singer, nor did he recuse himself from cases that Singer’s hedge fund had before the court. Alito wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed he had limited engagement with Singer and was under no obligation to recuse himself.

The outlet also reported that Thomas had accepted luxury vacations from GOP megadonor Harlan Crow that he had not disclosed. Thomas has called Crow and his wife “close personal friends” and said he was advised that he didn’t need to disclose the trips they took over the course of more than 20 years.

Thomas also failed to disclose real estate transactions involving Crow, which the justice later amended in financial disclosure forms.

The articles also cite Ginni Thomas, Thomas’ wife. Judicial activist Leonard Leo reportedly directed a conservative group to obscure a payment to Ginni Thomas for consulting work. Leo defended the move to the Washington Post as protecting Ginni Thomas’ privacy for doing work that largely wasn’t a secret.

A spokesperson for the court did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the impeachment attempt.

Co-sponsors of the articles include Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas), Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).