The corrupt behavior of SCOTUS Justices Alito and Thomas | Opinion

A corrupted, partisan United States Supreme Court is how we will lose our democracy.

Right now, two Supreme Court justices have a demonstrable inability to be impartial on partisan matters, including those related to former President Donald Trump. Furthermore, they have received financial benefits from parties they have ruled in favor of. The justices have also failed to live up to the requirements that members of our judiciary conduct themselves with “good behavior,” as stipulated in Article III, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

That is why, upon election and being sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives, I will introduce a resolution to begin an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

Mike Davey
Mike Davey

As a check and balance on the judiciary, Congress holds the power to impeach federal judges, including Supreme Court justices. Though Congress has not often used this power, there have been instances in which members of the judiciary were impeached dating as far back as the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase in 1805.

In order to overturn the will of the people, 2020 election deniers attempted to subvert democracy by pursuing a legal challenge with the expectation that the deniers would have allies on the court in Alito and Thomas.

In fact, in September 2021 Trump attorney Sydney Powell admitted that Alito was who they were counting on to back their plot to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. In addition, Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas, actively worked on Trump’s attempt to overthrow the legitimate results of the 2020 election.

Alito and Thomas have damaged the integrity and credibility of the Supreme Court through their unethical behavior, including:

Their failure to recuse themselves from cases involving Donald Trump and the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection was a clear violation of their ethical duty given the involvement and activism of their partners;

Their recurring refusal to recuse themselves from cases in which parties provided them with gifts and other material benefits;

Alito’s acceptance of a luxury trip to Alaska he failed to disclose until it was going to be disclosed by journalists, then not only refusing to recuse himself on matters involving his benefactor but voting to rule in his favor; and, Thomas’ acceptance of several gifts from a party who had a matter come before the court, including the payment of school costs for his godson, the purchase of his mother’s home (in which Justice Thomas continued to live rent-free), a luxury recreational vehicle, and refusing to recuse himself from matters involving this benefactor and voting to rule in their favor.

The fact that the justices participated in those matters was unethical and Congress must determine whether their actions rise to a level sufficient to be deserving of consequences, including impeachment and removal from office, as it has with other federal judges.

As a long-serving elected official and with extensive experience with judges through my private practice as an attorney, I understand that the appearance of impropriety should be avoided whenever possible. The American people must have confidence in the integrity of our government, its courts and legal institutions, and all officials who swear an oath to protect and defend our constitution.

It is clear that Alito and Thomas had personal connections and received personal benefits from parties who appeared before the Supreme Court. What is also clear is that neither justice reported the benefits until they were discovered by journalists, nor did either recuse himself from the relevant matter that came before the court.

Such behavior is not ethical, must be challenged and should not be allowed to continue in any court across America. Upon my election to Congress, I intend to defend the integrity of our courts and the foundation of our democracy.

Mike Davey is a workers’ rights attorney and former mayor of Key Biscayne. He’s currently a Democratic candidate for Florida’s 27th Congressional District.