Dick Durbin Needs to Shut the Hell Up About Clarence Thomas and the Trump 14th Amendment Case

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Democrats appear to be panicking at the possibility that the Supreme Court will throw a monkey wrench into their plan to use the 14th Amendment to disqualify former President Donald Trump from appearing on the 2024 presidential ballot in various states.

The scheme was first introduced in 2023 before the campaign season started. Anti-Trump Republicans and Democrats began putting their plan into action as the primaries began, filing lawsuits in several states to remove Trump’s name from the ballot to prevent voters from choosing him.

In Colorado and Maine, state officials made the decision to disqualify Trump. Now, the former president is challenging Colorado’s ruling at the Supreme Court, which is slated to hear the case on Thursday. This has prompted many on the left to call for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself–because of his wife’s role in the “Stop the Steal” movement that cropped up after the 2020 presidential election.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, parroting this call for Thomas’ recusal from the 14th Amendment case, because this would supposedly mean that “there’s no question of bias.”

I’m calling for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself in the 14th Amendment case determining if Donald Trump is ineligible for the 2024 ballot.

Given questions surrounding his wife’s involvement, Justice Thomas should recuse himself so there’s no question of bias.

Others have expressed similar sentiments, arguing that the “Stop the Steal” campaign led to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building.

Thomas, the court’s most senior conservative, has unique association to events at the center of the ruling.

His wife Virginia Thomas, who goes by Ginni, is a longtime conservative activist and Trump booster who helped lead the “Stop the Steal” campaign to overturn results of the 2020 election and who attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally near the White House but did not march on the Capitol.

 Gabe Roth, executive director of progressive activist group Fix the Court, said:

Ginni Thomas was a supporter of Donald Trump’s, from pretty early on in his campaign, and she has maintained that support even through today. And those attempts to overturn the election was what led to the insurrection, which is what led to Trump being kicked off the ballot in Colorado.

Earlier in 2024, eight Democratic lawmakers and others sent a letter to Thomas, demanding that he recuse himself from the case, citing the same reasons.

“Fewer than half of all Americans trust the Supreme Court, and that number will fall even lower if you rule in this case,” the eight Democrats warned. “To protect the Court’s integrity and the legitimacy of its decision in this monumental case, you must recuse yourself.”

[Retired federal judge Jeremy] Fogel said Thomas should also weigh how his decision to hear the case will affect the public’s perception of the court and its eventual ruling.

Ginni Thomas’s involvement “raises the question of whether he can fairly assess the gravity of the conduct that President Trump is accused of,” Fogel said. “Even if it’s not the precise issue that the court is deciding, it [may create] the appearance that he is going to try to find a way to rule in President Trump’s favor because of his wife’s affiliations and advocacy.”

So, let’s tear this thing apart, shall we?

For starters, Ginni Thomas was not involved in Jan. 6. She was present at the rally but was not among those who went to the Capitol building afterward. She was not even named by congressional investigators as one of the individuals involved in the riot.

The effort to remove Trump from the ballot seeks to use a provision in the 14th Amendment that prohibits people who participated in a rebellion against the government from holding office. It was originally intended to apply to former members of the Confederacy.

Those seeking to use this provision against Trump argue that he fomented an insurrection against the government on Jan. 6, and that Ginni Thomas was somehow involved, which would mean that her husband should not be involved in adjudicating the case. However, if there is no evidence that Ginni was involved, their argument falls apart.

Next, we have the inconvenient reality that there was no actual “insurrection,” nor did Trump incite anyone to violence. At no point did he advocate for rioting or other type of violent activity in response to the outcome of the election. In fact, during his speech, he urged his supporters to protest “peacefully and patriotically” at the Capitol building. This is not exactly the language one would expect from someone trying to incite a riot, is it?

Lastly, those calling for Thomas’ recusal don’t actually believe the words coming out of their mouths and digital pens. Not a single one of these people had the same energy for Fulton County (Georgia) district attorney Fani Willis, who recently admitted to having a romantic affair with one of the prosecutors she hired to prosecute the former president for election interference.

But we know what this is all about, don’t we, dear reader? They don’t want Thomas to recuse himself because of his wife. They want him to recuse himself because they know he is more likely to vote against removing Trump from the ballot. Folks on the left see that this strategy might go up in smoke, and they are desperate to do something about it. At the end of the day, the 14th Amendment stratagem isn’t about protecting the Constitution, it is about influencing the upcoming election–nothing more, nothing less.

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