Clarence Thomas should not be a Supreme Court justice. But because we don’t believe women about sexual harassment, especially not Black women, he is.
I’m old enough to remember Anita Hill testifying about being sexually harassed by Thomas when she worked for him. Granted, I was in seventh grade, the same age my son is now. And Thomas is STILL on the bench.
I certainly don’t remember things very clearly. I wasn’t exactly super into politics at that point in my life. From what I could tell, the media made it all out to be a “he said/she said” situation rather than a very credible woman accusing a powerful man of something many, many powerful men have done and continue to do — a man who was set to become even more powerful for the rest of his life. (And yes, Brett Kavanaugh should also not be a Supreme Court Justice for the same reason.)
I did not know that Thomas would one day decide whether or not I could get married (his vote was, unsurprisingly, no on marriage equality in 2015). And I certainly didn’t know that he would be sitting on a Supreme Court with an ultra-conservative majority that wants to, and very well could, overturn marriage equality.
And then there’s Thomas’s wife, Ginni the Insurrectionist. Ginni Thomas actively engaged in trying to overturn the election. She meddled in Arizona, trying to get lawmakers to overturn the state’s vote for Biden. She also sent wild and frazzled texts to Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff, urging him to keep Trump in power: “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!,” she texted. “You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”
Another text was even more out there: “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.”
Wild if true! (It’s totally not true.)
I’d like to point out that in order for this election “heist,” as Ginni called it, to work, SO MANY PEOPLE in so many different places would have to agree to do this. I challenge you to walk into a city clerk’s office anywhere in Michigan and get everyone who works there to agree on the exact same lunch order, much less all agree to throw an election.
I mean believing the Big Lie is truly batshit crazy stuff. This is not in any way reasonable or normal. This is not backed by ANY evidence. At all. Reasonable people do not believe this. People who we should take seriously do not believe this. Only conspiracy theorists who can’t BELIEVE that the most inept and unpopular president in modern times could lose an election.
Now, is the wife of a Supreme Court justice entitled to her own beliefs and opinions, however completely unmoored by reality? Yes, of course. But should that justice be presiding over lawsuits based on the Big Lie that the election was stolen? No, he should not.
But of course, that’s exactly what he’s doing. An ethical justice would recuse himself, but not Thomas. According to the Associated Press, “In February 2021, the Supreme Court rejected challenges to the election. Justice Thomas dissented, calling the ruling not to hear arguments in the case ‘befuddling’ and ‘inexplicable.’” Thomas was also the only justice who was cool with Trump withholding Jan. 6 documentation.
In other words, he’s the only justice sold on the Big Lie. And his wife has been selling the hell out of it.
But then, Ginni and Clarence never talk about politics. They have their own separate lives and don’t discuss work with each other. Or so says Ginni. That is, frankly, bullshit.
Apparently Ginni was terrified that America was literally about to be destroyed, so terrified that she contacted people in the highest reaches of state and federal government begging them to DO SOMETHING, but she didn’t talk to her husband about it?
I simply do not believe that Ginni’s level of frenetic insurrection energy went unnoticed or was not discussed in the Thomas household. Of course, maybe they have a communication issue they need to work out in couples’ therapy.
Either way, Clarence Thomas shouldn’t be in the business of deciding who can get married or not.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.