An online petition on the public advocacy organization MoveOn’s website that calls for the removal of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has garnered more than a million signatures.
The petition, titled “Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas,” has been posted since May and cites Thomas’ recent vote in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade which legalized abortions across the country.
It also cites Thomas’s concurring opinion in which he indicated the Court should revisit previous rulings related to the 14th Amendment’s due process clause.
“Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—who sided with the majority on overturning Roe—made it clear what’s next: to overturn high court rulings that establish gay rights and contraception rights,” the petition reads.
In his concurring opinion, Thomas wrote, “in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”
The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut case that people have the right to privacy that protects against state restrictions on contraception.
In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the Lawrence v. Texas case that a law criminalizing members of the same sex for having intimate sexual relations violated the due process clause.
The high court voted 5-4 in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment protects the rights of same-sex couples to get married.
The online petition also cites Thomas’ January 19 dissent, when the Supreme Court refused the request of former President Donald Trump not to release White House records to the January 6 committee.
Thomas did not recuse himself. His wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, has been accused of supporting “efforts to overturn” the 2020 presidential election. After the January 6 committee stated that it plans to ask Ginni Thomas to testify, she responded that she looked forward to doing so. Her lawyer later added that he “[does] not believe there is currently a sufficient basis” for the committee to speak with her.
In March, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said calls for Thomas to recuse himself from the case involving Trump or to be removed from the Court entirely were part of a “new and inappropriate pressure campaign.”
“Justice Clarence Thomas is a great American and an outstanding Justice,” said McConnell. “He is faithful to the text of our laws and Constitution. His writing is clear. His reasoning is rigorous and transparent. I have total confidence in Justice Thomas’s impartiality in every aspect of the work of the Court.”
“All nine Justices deserve total independence as they approach every judicial decision they make,” McConnell continued. “This clumsy bullying from the political branches is beyond the pale.”
“Justice Thomas is an exemplary jurist who has modeled fidelity to the rule of law for more than 30 years and counting,” McConnell added. “I hope none of the Justices give any of the radical left’s various pressure campaigns a minute’s thought.”
The MoveOn petition is similar to the one George Washington University (GWU) students created the week before.
The student-led petition calls for the removal of Thomas from his teaching position with the university in Washington, D.C., also citing the high court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In a school-wide letter, GWU officials said they have no plans to remove Thomas as an adjunct professor in their law school, stating that he has not violated any of the school’s policies on academic freedom.
“Just as we affirm our commitment to academic freedom, we affirm the right of all members of our community to voice their opinions and contribute to the critical discussion that is foundational to our academic mission,” school officials wrote in their letter.