Why the worst may be yet to come for Clarence Thomas: report
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at Stetson University College of Law. (Credit: Stetson University)

Justice Clarence Thomas has been controversial throughout his 32 years on the U.S. Supreme Court, but he has suffered especially bad publicity in 2022 and 2023 — so bad that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) has even been calling for his impeachment.

First came revelations that his wife, far-right GOP activist Ginni Thomas, had tried to help Republicans overturn the 2020 presidential election results despite the fact that President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by more than 7 million votes. Then came a series of reports from ProPublica focusing on Justice Thomas' relationship with billionaire megadonor Harlan Crow.

According to ProPublica, Justice Thomas has, for "over 20 years," been "treated to luxury vacations" by Crow and failed to report them. Nor did the justice report that Crow bought property from him and paid his grandnephew's tuition in a private boarding school.

In an article published by The New Republic on May 15, journalist Michael Tomasky offers some reasons why he believes the Crow scandal won't be letting up in the weeks ahead.

Two senators who are scrutinizing Justice Thomas aggressively, according to Tomasky, are Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), who is also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Wyden and Whitehouse mean business," Tomasky argues. "Whitehouse has been the Democrats' point person in the Senate for years on these ethics matters. But of the two, Wyden spells more potential trouble for Thomas and Crow because as chairman of one of Congress' tax-writing committees, he has what's called 6103 authority: the power to ask for any citizen's tax returns at any time for any reason."

Justice Thomas, Tomasky writes, has been "stonewalling" the U.S. Senate about his relationship with Crow and the "full extent" of the "gifts" he has received. But Wyden and Whitehouse are showing no signs of letting up.

"It's my understanding that there's more news coming on Thomas and Crow," Tomasky explains. "It seems highly possible that what we know so far, ghastly as it is, barely scratches the surface. And Wyden and Whitehouse are going to keep at this."

The journalist adds, "To paraphrase (Winston) Churchill, this isn't the end of the story. This is just the beginning of the end."