WASHINGTON — Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, Jan. On 6, 2021, he recused himself for the first time from a case related to the attack on the US capital by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. John Eastman.
Thomas, under fire over claims of ethical lapses, was participated Last year, the court rejected Trump’s bid to block the release of White House documents to a House committee that is set to hold a hearing on January 6.
At the time, Thomas was the only judge to support Trump’s legal arguments.
This time, Thomas recused himself from a case involving Eastman, who worked as a law clerk in the Department of Justice.
Eastman’s lawsuit, involving the now-defunct Jan. 6 Committee, centered on the former law professor’s efforts to prevent his former employer, Chapman University, from handing over archived emails sent to or from Eastman’s account.
As is common with judges, Thomas did not explain why he recused himself. Aside from Thomas’ professional history with Eastman, there’s another reason why he might be on the sidelines, though Published emails Thomas was reportedly cited as the judge most receptive to Trump’s arguments.
The case was effectively debated before the Supreme Court’s action on Monday, as the committee has received the relevant emails and completed its investigation.
Eastman made the discredited argument that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to refuse to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
He is also accused of attempting to alter the results of the 2020 election in Georgia.
Eastman recently pledged to Thomas, following various news reports accusing the judges of falling short of ethical standards. Separately, he faces impeachment proceedings in California over his role in the election.
Trump’s January. 6 Thomas has previously faced criticism for failing to recuse himself from the case because his wife, conservative political activist Virginia “Ginny” Thomas, has voiced Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
The Court rejected the 14th Amendment case
In another Trump-related case, the court on Monday declined A lengthy legal challenge could prevent Trump from being re-elected president.
The justices rejected an appeal filed by John Castro, a write-in Republican presidential candidate who represented himself in the case. Similar cases.
In his appeal, Castro argued that Trump was ineligible to vote under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution because he “aided and comforted the criminals and rebels who violently attacked our American capital on January 6, 2021.”
It was one of several lawsuits across the country to block Trump from voting by invoking the 14th Amendment, which states that he “cannot hold any office in opposition to insurrection or insurrection.” [United States]or gave aid or comfort to its enemies.
While some legal scholars support this argument, others have rejected it, pointing to the difficulty of enforcing the constitutional provision and questioning whether Trump’s actions rose to the level of “insurrection or insurrection.”
Trump faces criminal charges for his role in the events leading up to January 6, and was impeached by the then-Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in the days following the episode. The Senate acquitted Trump after failing to get 67 votes to convict him.
Although the Supreme Court may weigh in on the issue before the 2024 election, Castro’s case seemed an unlikely contest in part because, after losing in a federal district court in Florida, he appealed directly to the high court. Normal appeals process.
The judge handling the case, Judge Eileen Cannon, was a Trump appointee under scrutiny for her role overseeing another criminal case involving the former president, in which he was accused of illegally keeping government documents at his Mar-a-Lago home. Office.
Before the Supreme Court rejected Castro’s appeal, it signaled a lack of interest in the case by not even asking Trump’s legal team to file a response.