Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court recused himself from a case related to the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, on Monday morning.
His recusal was due to criticism from many about his wife’s political activities, including her support for overturning the 2020 election results.
Justice Thomas provided no explanation for his recusal, though it is believed to be connected with one of his former law clerks, John Eastman, being a litigant in the case.
Eastman filed an appeal against a ruling of the lower court which allowed Chapman University of Orange, California to hand over his archived emails from when he was employed as a law professor.
He claimed that the emails were protected under attorney-client privilege, however, the lower court rejected this argument on the grounds that it did not extend to crime and fraud.
The Supreme Court declined Eastman’s appeal, though it was rendered moot due to the committee having already completed its investigation after obtaining the information they sought.
Despite this, Eastman asserted that both his and former President Donald Trump’s reputations had been detrimentally affected by the ruling.
“The crime-fraud ruling of the district court imposes a stigma not only on petitioner,” read the court petition, “but also on his former client, the former president of the United States and current candidate for the presidency in 2024.”
Liberals have attempted to challenge the integrity of Thomas through accusations that his wife’s involvement in politics indicates he is unable to rule impartially on matters before the Supreme Court.
This has been met with criticism from those who support Thomas’ position.
Additionally, Eastman faces disbarment in California due to his belief that the vice president had the authority to select which electors would be presented to Congress for approval of a presidential election.
Here’s Eastman speaking in his defense: