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Wed Jun 22, 2022, 08:53 PM

The Supreme Court's Legitimacy Crisis: From Recusal Issues to Blatant Partisanship

In a one-paragraph decision issued in January, the Supreme Court ruled that former president Donald Trump was required to turn over documents to the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. It was an unsurprising decision, described by commentators as ďentirely consistent with existing law.Ē In a Supreme Court where a third of the members were appointed by Trump, only Clarence Thomas noted his dissent. Thomas would have permitted the Trump White House to shield its records from congressional scrutiny.

Initially, Thomasís dissent was notable but not shocking. Thomas is a staunch conservative, frequently willing to go further to advance the right-wing agenda than many or all of his colleagues on the bench. But over the last several months, new reporting has suggested that Thomasís dissent may not have stemmed strictly from a different interpretation of the relevant law.

Reporting has revealed that Thomasís wife, far-right activist Ginni Thomas, was deeply involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, going so far as to pressure at least lawmakers in Arizona to overturn the outcome in their state. Legal ethics experts from across the political spectrum agree that Thomas had no business ruling in a case so directly tied to his wifeís political activity ó but he did so anyway.

As egregious as Justice Thomasís refusal to recuse is, it is merely the latest display of the current Supreme Courtís illegitimacy. The creation of a 6-3 radically conservative supermajority on the Court is the result of a conservative legal movement determined to seize power at any cost.

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/supreme-court-legitimacy-crisis

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