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Rep. Ocasio-Cortez files articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Alito

This comes at a time when the conservative justices are under scrutiny for gifts they've received from wealthy political donors and their refusal to recuse themselves from certain Supreme Court cases.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Posted at 1:34 PM, Jul 10, 2024

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced Wednesday she has introduced articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

“The unchecked corruption crisis on the Supreme Court has now spiraled into a Constitutional crisis threatening American democracy writ large," Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement."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 American rule of law, the integrity of our democracy, and one of the clearest cases for which the tool of impeachment was designed."

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While Ocasio-Cortez did not cite any specific Supreme Court rulings in her announcement, she did voice displeasure earlier this month after justices ruled in a 6-3 decision that former President Donald Trump is entitled to limited immunity from prosecution for official acts taken when he was president. The court sent the case back to a lower court to determine which of Trump's actions regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, if any, were official duties and therefore subject to immunity.

The announcement by Ocasio-Cortez also comes at a time when multiple Supreme Court justices — including Thomas and Alito — are under scrutiny for lavish gifts they've received from wealthy political donors. Democratic Sen. Sheldon White of Rhode Island and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon have called on the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation into Justice Thomas over gifts he's received and whether he violated federal ethics and tax laws.

Democratic senators call for investigation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

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“Justice Thomas and Alito’s repeated failure over decades to disclose that they received millions of dollars in gifts from individuals with business before the court is explicitly against the law," Ocasio-Cortez said. "And their refusal to recuse from the specific matters and cases before the court in which their benefactors and spouses are implicated represents nothing less than a constitutional crisis. These failures alone would amount to a deep transgression worthy of standard removal in any lower court."

Throughout U.S. history, just one Supreme Court justice has ever been impeached. The House of Representatives voted in favor of removing Associate Justice Samuel Chase from the high court in 1805, but he was later acquitted by the Senate.