Judge Thomas’ wife has long been steeped in conservative politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — During a decades-long career in conservative politics, Virginia Thomas has repeatedly maintained that her political activities pose no conflict of interest with the work of her husband, the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“Like so many married couples, we share many of the same ideals, principles and aspirations for America,” Thomas said earlier this month in an interview with the right-wing Washington Free Beacon. “But we have our own distinct careers, as well as our own ideas and opinions. Clarence doesn’t discuss his work with me, and I don’t involve him in my work.

Judge Thomas faces new conflict of interest charges after revelations that his wife repeatedly urged former President Donald Trump’s aides to resist the results of the November 2020 presidential election. A series of text messages between Virginia Thomas – known as Ginni – and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows show her lobbying Meadows to fight the election results and offering strategic advice on the best way to reverse the victory of President Joe Biden.

The text exchanges, first reported by The Washington Post and CBS, highlight Thomas’ deep access to Trump’s inner circle and his personal involvement in a divisive and destructive fight that many Trump supporters hoped would end. finish ahead of her husband on the Supreme. To research.

Trump’s attempts to alter the results ultimately landed in court, which declined to hear a series of state-level challenges in February 2021. Judge Thomas called the cases a “perfect opportunity” to address an important question is whether state legislators or state courts have the final say on how federal elections are conducted. He dissented, calling the decision not to hear arguments in the case “confusing” and “inexplicable”.

Now, Ginni Thomas’ personal involvement in that fight has fueled calls for Judge Thomas to recuse himself from all cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters seeking to prevent the Senate from certifying the election results.

“Why didn’t Judge Thomas recuse himself in the Trump Records case in light of Ginni Thomas’ apparent active involvement?” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, said on Twitter. “The nation deserves an explanation and the Supreme Court needs a code of ethics.”

He said there was “no doubt that the recusal of Judge Thomas is absolutely essential going forward in any case involving the January 6 committee investigation and the 2024 presidential election if Trump runs for office. new “.

It’s common for the spouses of Justices and Supreme Court justices to have their own careers, and those careers often involve law in the insular and overlapping world of DC’s high-level legal circles. But Thomas’ career has been deeply rooted in conservative partisan politics.

Her story as a staunch Trump supporter was no secret. Prior to the November 2020 election, his Facebook page featured multiple posts that covered a variety of familiar Trump world topics: corruption allegations against the Biden family, speculation that billionaire philanthropist George Soros controls the Democratic Party, attacks on the media general public, hints that Biden suffers from dementia and unsubstantiated claims that former President Barack Obama broke the law by spying on Trump and his associates during the transition between their administrations.

Thomas has said in interviews that she attended the first pro-Trump rally on the morning of Jan. 6, but left before Trump spoke and the crowd headed for the Capitol building.

Judge Thomas was the lone dissenting voice when the Supreme Court ruled in January to allow a congressional committee access to presidential diaries, visitor logs, speech drafts and handwritten notes relating to the January 6 events.

Ginni Thomas was born Virginia Lamp in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1957 and attended the University of Nebraska, later earning a law degree from Creighton University, a private Jesuit university in Omaha. His mother, Marjorie Lamp, was a major figure in local Republican political circles and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1972. Ginni Thomas, in her mother’s 2009 obituary, said her mother was “in politics for all the right reasons – for our country.”

Ginni Lamp first came to Washington, DC in the early 1980s as an aide to former Nebraska Republican Representative Hal Daub. She married Clarence Thomas in 1987 and first emerged into the national spotlight as a strong public defender of her husband, who was accused of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings in 1991.

She then worked with the United States Chamber of Commerce and for the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing powerhouse that was instrumental in Trump’s unqualified success – stacking the court with conservative judges such as Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney. Barrett, who have been selected and approved by the foundation.

She spent several years as a special correspondent for The Daily Caller, contributing articles and videos to the website founded by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. His last contribution there was in 2018, but articles feature headlines such as “Democrats on ‘Biggest Witch Hunt Since Salem,’ Says Donald Trump Jr.”

His biography on the Daily Caller website mentions hobbies such as “motor rallying” and supporting the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. He says Thomas has “maintained his Midwestern authenticity after 30 years in Washington, D.C.”

Twelve years ago, she founded her own firm, Liberty Consulting; in her interview with Free Beacon, she described her role as “coalition and bridge-building work.”

Thomas defended her overtly political work as compatible with her husband’s duties so long as she did not take a position on specific cases before the Supreme Court.

“The legal route is my husband’s – I never much liked reading memoirs and court opinions anyway and I’m quite happy to stay out of that route,” Thomas told the Free Beacon. “We don’t discuss cases until opinions are public – and even then our discussions have always been very general and limited to public information.”

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Associated Press writer Mark Sherman in Washington and researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.


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