Emails obtained by government watchdog group American Oversight suggest that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been in regular contact with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The June 2021 emails, reported by Politico on Friday, were sent by conservative activist Ginni Thomas to someone in the DeSantis administration requesting that the governor join a meeting organized in part by Judicial Watch, a right-wing group that frequently sues public officials.
Thomas, the wife of Clarence Thomas, writes that the governor should be familiar with her because, in addition to seeing him at a state dinner at the White House and having interviewed him for the Daily Caller, her “husband has been in contact with him too on various things of late.”
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Ginni Thomas has long been intimately involved with several conservative groups that make no secret about where they stand on Supreme Court decisions. The New Republic noted recently, for example, that in 2000, Thomas, then a staffer at the conservative Heritage Foundation, screened resumes for Bush administration employees while the court had yet to rule on the legality of the Florida recount. (In a 5-4 decision, in which Clarence Thomas participated despite calls to recuse himself, the court put a stop to the recount.)
A more recent example, as noted by The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer, pertains to Ginni Thomas’ role on the advisory board of the conservative group Turning Point USA, which transported busloads of insurrectionists to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Last month, the court ruled 8-1 that ex-president Donald Trump must hand over documents to the House Jan. 6 committee. The lone dissenter? Clarence Thomas
These are just two of several instances of Ginni Thomas, who worries that America is danger of falling into the hands of “transsexual fascists,” presenting a conflict of interest to the court. As Stephen Gillers, an NYU law professor and a judicial ethicist, told Mayer, “I think Ginni Thomas is behaving horribly, and she’s hurt the Supreme Court and the administration of justice. It’s reprehensible. If you could take a secret poll of the other eight justices, I have no doubt that they are appalled by Virginia Thomas’ behavior. But what can they do?”
Friday’s report is sure to raise questions about whether DeSantis communicated with Clarence Thomas about, say, vaccine mandate cases that came before the court last month. The Biden administration’s mandate for health care workers was upheld in a 5-4 ruling, with Thomas dissenting, while the mandate for large businesses was overturned 6-3, with Thomas in the majority. DeSantis opposed both mandates.
Helen Aguirre Ferré, the executive director of the Republican Party of Florida, told Politico, “I can’t speak about any private conversations Governor DeSantis may or may not have had with anyone but both he and Justice Thomas believe in the separation of powers and defend individual liberty, the law and the Constitution as written.”
DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Rolling Stone.
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