Even for a Supreme Court known for being tight-lipped, the news surrounding Justice Clarence Thomas’ health has been scarce. On Sunday, the court issued a written statement, acknowledging that the justice had been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms two days earlier. The statement added that he expected to “be released from the hospital in a day or two.”
Whether that’s happened or not is unclear: A week after Thomas was admitted, the Supreme Court hasn’t provided any updates.
But as it turns out, this isn’t the far-right jurist’s only problem.
Late last year, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows briefly agreed to cooperate with the bipartisan congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, and as part of the process, the Republican provided the House select committee with extensive materials. Meadows ultimately changed his mind about assisting with the probe, but the information he shared remains highly relevant. NBC News reported overnight:
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol is in possession of a number of text messages in which former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, talk about keeping President Donald Trump in office, a person familiar with the investigation said. Thomas and Meadows exchanged the messages came as Trump allies were discussing a legal challenge to the results of the 2020 election.
These were not casual text interactions. Ginni Thomas effectively played the role of a right-wing lobbyist, sharing outlandish conspiracy theories while pressing the then-White House chief of staff to do everything possible to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
In the Nov. 5 message, Thomas quoting a bonkers missive that was circulating on right-wing websites, texted Meadows, “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.”
In fact, as a Washington Post report noted, the partisan activist shared fringe ideas that overlapped with the theories espoused by adherents of the deranged QAnon delusion.
It’s worth emphasizing that none of the texts specifically reference Clarence Thomas by name. At one point, Ginni Thomas referenced “a conversation with my best friend” as part of her communications with Meadows, but it was unclear to whom she was referring.
That said, while Ginni Thomas was pressing the White House to reverse Donald Trump’s defeat, and the White House was pursuing legal strategies to keep the losing candidate in power, Clarence Thomas was ruling on cases related to the 2020 election.
Indeed, Ginni Thomas even attended the pre-riot “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021.
Circling back to our earlier coverage, let’s also not forget that after the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack subpoenaed White House materials, Trump sued to keep the documents from his administration hidden. The former president ran out of options, however, two months ago: The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Republican’s emergency appeal, clearing the way for disclosure.
While the high court did not release details on each justice’s conclusion, Clarence Thomas was alone in publicly acknowledging his dissent.
That looked bad at the time. It’s a bit worse now.
It’s hard not to wonder what the political debate would look like right now if it were a progressive Supreme Court justice caught up in a controversy like this one.