Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sunday said it would be “a mistake” to impeach Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who has drawn national scorn for suggesting the court reconsider precedents that affirmed the constitutional rights to same-sex marriage, contraception and privacy in the bedroom.
“I don’t think it’s realistic,” Durbin told “Fox News Sunday” anchor Mike Emanuel. “I think it’s a mistake as to whether he’s going to be impeached. It’s not realistic, but [Thomas] should show good judgement. If this court is going to be credible, it has to be as apolitical as possible.”
Thomas, who voted to overturn the 1973 precedent Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion last month, drew a firestorm of criticism earlier this year after it was revealed that his wife, Ginni Thomas, was communicating with former President Trump’s team in support of overturning the 2020 election results.
In January, Clarence Thomas was the only dissenting justice when the court ruled that Trump could not block documents requested by the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
A petition to remove him from the high court collected more than 1 million signatures last week. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has also led calls advocating for the impeachment of Clarence Thomas and other justices.
While Durbin on Sunday said he does not support impeaching the justice, he does believe Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from matters involving Jan. 6.
“There is in my mind a clear conflict of interest when it comes to Justice Thomas and issues related to the Jan. 6 insurrection,” the Illinois senator said. “I would think that Justice Thomas should recuse himself from any decisions that relate to the Jan. 6 episode.”