A Quick Note on Ginni Thomas
Justice Thomas actually did make it clear he didn't believe in election conspiracy theories.
There is a good piece from Amanda Carpenter in the Bulwark today, where she asks interesting questions about the relationship between Justice Thomas’s judicial decisions and Ginni Thomas’s political “activity.” Long story short, Carpenter doesn’t believe that Justice Thomas is able to separate himself from his wife’s antics:
If you believe that, Ginni has a barge off GITMO to sell you for President Biden’s forthcoming military tribunal. Which, according to the texts she sent to Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, is also something she believed possible:
Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition
Her story, as well as her election theories, don’t survive even the most basic common-sense tests.
On Friday, I highlighted all the ethical issues with Thomas failing to recuse himself from certain election cases. That is still very serious, and Thomas should, of course, recuse himself from any similar case going forward and submit his resignation the second a Republican President steps into the White House (if you think he is going to be impeached and removed or resign under a Democrat, wake yourself up).
Almost the entirety of Carpenter’s piece is related to the ethics guidance that Thomas ignored, but she includes one note that suggests Thomas endorsed his wife’s nutty theories:
Notably, the group of Thomas clerk alumni includes John Eastman, author of the memo outlining how then-Vice President Mike Pence could deny or block Joe Biden’s certification as president. Pence’s counsel Greg Jacob has testified that Eastman believed, to some degree, that Justice Thomas would support his strategy.
Carpenter actually cites to a case that debunks this point (or proves that Eastman is a nutcase): In December 2020, there was a SCOTUS decision that heard one of Trump’s election fraud theories and the Justices tossed it out. Here is the full text:
This decision was inaccurately reported as being “7-2” at the time, since Justices Alito and Thomas say they would not “deny the filing of a bill of complaint,” meaning, they would allow the case to go forward and be heard at the Supreme Court. A lot of outlets got this wrong at the time:
If you look at the case cited to by Alito and Thomas, Arizona v. California, they are trying to say that disputes between States should be heard by the Supreme Court. There is disagreement on this issue amongst the justices, and in the Arizona case, Thomas and Alito were (again) the ones saying SCOTUS should be a battleground for a State v. State deathmatch.
However, the next sentence they use is key: “I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint, but would not grant other relief.”1 In legal settings, “relief” is the government’s solution to the problem you’re bringing before the Court. In this case, that would be agreeing with Texas2 that the elections in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin were all illegal. Translated into normal English, Thomas and Alito are saying:
We think the Court should hear disputes between the States, but this lawsuit is so dumb that it would lose on the merits even if we decided to hear it.
It was not a 7-2 decision to reject Texas’s case; it actually was 9-0. In fact, Alito and Thomas stepped out on their own - unlike the rest of the Court - to say that the Texas case would lose on the merits.
So, while I think all the ethical issues surrounding Justice Thomas and his wife definitely have merit, we currently have definitive proof that he did not believe at least some of the wild election conspiracies that were floating around in late 2020.
I will close with this: Because Ginni Thomas is connected to evangelical Christian circles, I have interacted with her before on Facebook. It was during a major debate on the U.S. accepting refugees and Ginni took a hard line against accepting any refugee from Arabic or Muslim countries. There were normal comments about how Christians are called to accept refugees and all that, but Ginni continually made the point that Muslim refugees were just too dangerous because of the culture they came from, and she eventually provided a citation for her point.
Ginni linked to VDARE, a white-supremacist website founded by Peter Brimelow. Wrap your head around that: Ginni Thomas - who is married to a black man - cited to a Neo-Nazi website that says black men genetically have lower IQs than white men.
And that is my personal Ginni Thomas story. Have a great week.
It’s worth noting that if this case is evidence of Thomas’s sympathy to Big Lie conspiracies, it would have to be evidence of Alito’s as well, which I think is a bridge too far.
It was really just Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton; let’s not smear all of Texas, which unfortunately associates itself with Paxton (who is currently indicted).