Progressive Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) on Monday called for the immediate resignation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who stands accused by the left of alleged ethics rules violations, The Hill reported.
The leftist senator from Massachusetts asserted in his commentary that the conservative jurist -- who Democrats have hated and sought to oust since the 1990s -- was corrupt, had made a "mockery" of the high court and judicial system, and had a reputation that was now "unsalvagable" with the public.
At issue here is an April 6 investigative report from leftist media outlet ProPublica that purported to uncover evidence of numerous undisclosed "gifts" that Justice Thomas had received over the years from Harlan Crow, a personal friend who became wealthy as a Texas real estate developer and is a major donor to Republicans and conservative causes.
The allegedly unreported "gifts" included flights on Crow's private jet and rides on his superyacht, visits to other countries, and vacations at properties owned by Crow in Texas and upstate New York -- all of the expenses of which were covered by Crow, and which the outlet insisted should been publicly disclosed by Thomas as "gifts" received per judicial ethics rules.
Numerous elected Democrats and their media allies seized upon the report to renew their decades-long partisan attacks against Thomas as well as their broader calls for reforms to the Supreme Court, including the imposition of stricter ethics rules and even an immediate expansion of the court with additional Democrat-appointed members to reverse the current ideological balance that favors the right.
On Sunday, Sen. Markey and other elected Democrats from Massachusetts, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, kicked off what they have dubbed the "Just Majority" bus tour to advocate for Supreme Court reforms, with the first stop being made in the city of Boston.
In promoting the bus tour on Twitter, Markey wrote, "I was proud to kick off the Just Majority bus tour yesterday to make clear that conservative special-interests have hijacked our justice system and laid siege to our most fundamental human rights—but we aren't going to let them win. We will expand the Court and secure our rights."
During the Boston event on Monday, the senator said of Justice Thomas, "I will say what needs to be said: Clarence Thomas should resign from the Supreme Court of the United States. His reputation is unsalvageable."
"It is evident that he cannot judge right from wrong," he continued. "So why should he be judging the country’s most important cases, on its highest court?"
At another point, Markey smeared GOP donor Crow as "a rich right-wing bad actor pushing a far-right agenda" and also criticized Thomas -- along with his conservative activist wife, Ginni -- for declining to recuse himself "on cases about efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, in spite of the fact that his wife was implicated in them."
"We have to ensure that the mockery which Justice Clarence Thomas is actually committing is corrected because it is a violation of public trust," the leftist senator added. "Clarence Thomas is serving on the high court with the highest level of corruption."
For what it is worth, actual judicial ethics experts are split, typically along partisan lines, as to whether Justice Thomas would have been required to disclose the alleged "gifts" of "personal hospitality" from his friend Crow under either the prior standards are recently updated reporting requirements.
As for Thomas himself, Roll Call reported that he released a rare public statement in response to the ProPublica hit piece that denied any wrongdoing with his friend of more than two decades and said, "Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable."
"I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have always sought to comply with the disclosure guidelines," he continued, and added with respect to the new standards that were only just adopted in March, "And, it is, of course, my intent to follow this guidance in the future."