Ginni Thomas’s emails with Trump’s lawyer have added to the chaos in the Supreme Court

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It’s hard to imagine a worse scenario for Supreme Court justices as they come to the end of their incredibly controversial term.

A California man has been indicted on charges that he planned to kill one of them. The congressional committee investigating the Capitol insurrection wants to talk to another’s spouse. Singing protesters at the magistrates ’houses were restrained by law enforcement officers stationed outside. Their majestic marble workplace – which promises “Fair Justice Under the Law” – has no public restrictions, with a high security fence.

And the tensions are at a high reported inside as well, as the court referred to the bizarre leak of a full draft opinion that could be reversed. Roe v. wadethe nearly 50-year guarantee of abortion rights that has become the ultimate symbol of the political struggle among court members.

“The combination of challenges and threats faced by the court at one time was unprecedented in recent history,” said Gregory G. Garre, who regularly argues with the Supreme Court and is solicitor general of President George W. Bush. “In that respect, the metal fence surrounding the court symbolizes the challenges it faces.”

Columbia University law professor David Pozen added: “I can’t imagine a moment ago that there was such an encounter with signs of internal discontent and depravity, coupled with external pressure of-and anger at- in court.

Every day seems to bring new controversy for the court, and Thursday is more revelations about Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of the longest-serving member of the court, Justice Clarence Thomas.

Ginni Thomas spoke with John Eastman, sources in Jan. 6 House investigation says

The Washington Post reported that the House committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021, the Capitol attack examines email letters between Ginni Thomas and attorney John Eastman, which played a key role in efforts to force Vice President Mike Pence to block Joe’s victory certification Biden.

Eastman, a former Thomas Clerk, is an advocate for taking election issues before the high court in a last-ditch effort to ignore the results of President Donald Trump’s defeat. In a statement on Thursday, he acknowledged talking to Ginni Thomas about the effort but said nothing was wrong.

“I can confirm that I have not discussed with Mrs. Thomas or Justice Thomas any matters that are pending or likely to come before the Court,” Eastman said in a statement. “We have not yet participated in such discussions, will not participate in such discussions, and we did not do so in December 2020 or at any time. “

Eastman wrote that he told another lawyer involved in the effort to reverse the election results that he understood there would be a heated exchange among judges on whether to accept the election challenge. But Eastman said he did not rely on inside information about private court conferences but a small source report from conservative media. The report was heavily criticized.

Ginni Thomas announced to a conservative media outlet on Thursday that she would follow up on the committee’s request for information. “I can’t wait to clear up the misconception. I’m excited to talk to them, ”Thomas said told the Daily Caller.

Ginni Thomas ’efforts -emailing former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about legal challenges to election results, lobbying members of the Arizona legislature for the same purpose – prompted her husband’s repeated call to exclude himself from any election-related case that came up in the past. the court.

Ginni Thomas apologizes to her husband’s Supreme Court clerks after the Capitol riot

The Supreme Court has not welcomed any of the challenges posed by Trump’s lawyers and advocates. But Thomas only objected when the court rejected Trump’s request to protect some White House documents from Jan. 6 committees.

The threats of the judges have recently been put to sharp relief. A California man has been charged planned to assassinate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh was charged by a federal grand jury this week with a count of attempted murder of a U.S. judge. Nicholas Roske appeared at the Maryland home of justice June 9 around 1 a.m. carrying a firearm, burglary equipment and 37 rounds of ammunition, according to the indictment.

After texting his brother about his plans, he convinced Roske to call 911 and surrender, officials said. Roske faces a possible sentence to life in prison. Kavanaugh and his family were at home at the time of Roske’s planned attack.

Pozen said this is not the first time a justice has been threatened over the polarizing issue of abortion. Justice Harry Blackmun, who writes in Roe The decision, often received death threats, Pozen said, and years ago a bullet ended up in the window of Blackmun’s apartment in Virginia when he and his wife were at home. No one was injured and the FBI later determined it was likely a random incident.

Even before the Kavanaugh house incident, the Senate introduced legislation to ensure the safety of the families of Supreme Court justices. Lawmakers were responding to concerns about an increase in protests outside magistrates ’homes after dropping a draft opinion earlier this spring. This week, the House passed the bill and sent it to President Biden.

The court cry comes at the exact moment it wants to plan a joint, or at least collegial, front. Instead, the court appears to be “deeply unresolved,” in the words of Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe.

In the coming weeks, it will deliver decisions on one of the most controversial terms in years. As a result of a conservative supermajority of six justices, it could make big strides.

Liberals like Tribe and ACLU legal director David Cole said the court created some of their own problems.

“It has a discretionary docket, but in its first full term as a new court it agreed to rule on abortion, bring guns to the public, climate change, and support the religious state, “said Cole. “At least for now, caution is not the court’s guard. Instead it chose to flex the newly found conservative muscle-and it’s very possible to fulfill Trump’s promise to reverse. Roe v. wade. That only contributes to the appearance and reality of a political court. ”

Conservatives responded that such concerns about the legitimacy of the court were merely a code for the protection of liberal consequences such as Roe that the right has struggled for years to collapse.

As usual, the court said almost nothing about the controversies surrounding it. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. criticized. the leak of the draft opinion on abortion, and said the court conducted an investigation into how this happened.

But the Supreme Court will not respond as other institutions do. It consisted of nine individuals who had confirmed their lifetime appointments to the Senate, and the other judges did not accept orders from Roberts or anyone.

“The chief justice is facing a huge challenge,” Garre said. “He is the nominal head of the court, but has little authority to act on his own.” Garre was a clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who “formerly called the chief justice’s job as a keeper of cats.”

Other judges spoke for themselves at public appearances. Thomas and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in speeches after the leak, criticized it and indicated that it had taken away the trust of the judges. They missed the opportunity to talk about their colleagues as respected friends who had learned to dismiss their disagreements.

Clarence Thomas says the Supreme Court’s leak has damaged the trust of the institution

Thomas in particular seems to have longed for the days before the current court. “We really trust” each other, Thomas said at a show in Dallas. “Maybe we’re a bad family, but we’re a family.”

So it was a bit of a surprise on Thursday when liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor put on a happy, optimistic face at a show in front of a convention of the American Constitution Society, a liberal legal group .

Sotomayor said the court has a chance to lead the way to “restore public confidence” in the institutions. In an interview with Tiffany Wright, a former clerk, she did not question or point to the leaked opinion or the future slate of decisions likely against her and two other court liberals.

She went out of her way to praise her relationship with Thomas. “I suspect I don’t agree with him more than any justice,” he told the group, wandering among the audience and answering questions. But he said he was someone who was “very concerned about the court as an institution, about the people who work there.”

Even if he criticized in an opinion last week the “unsustainable and newly established court” as eager for change, Sotomayor seems to be seeking to revolt among the assembled liberals.

Asked why he didn’t despair, he said, “I don’t think I have a choice, nor do you.”

If he loses, Sotomayor said, he feels sorry for himself and he is ready for another round. “Let’s fight,” he said.

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