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Rep. Rashida Tlaib calls for two Supreme Court justices to be impeached

Melissa Nann Burke, The Detroit News on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — Detroit Democratic U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Thursday called for the impeachment of conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, saying the high court faces a "corruption crisis."

"We need urgent action to hold these unhinged, corrupt extremists accountable," Tlaib said Thursday in a speech on the House floor. "It is extremely disturbing that the United States Supreme Court, the highest court of our land, is the only court that does not have an enforceable code of conduct."

Tlaib appears to be the first House member to call for the impeachment of Alito, though other Democrats have called for him to resign. News reports have revealed undisclosed gifts and luxury travel and hospitality that Alito and Thomas received from conservative donors.

A representative for the court did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment.

The congresswoman's remarks followed an effort Wednesday by Senate Democrats to pass legislation that would have required the high court justices to adopt a binding code of conduct and a mechanism for probing alleged violations of the code. It would also require stricter rules around the disclosure of gifts, travel and income received by the justices and their law clerks.

Senators attempted to to pass the bill by “unanimous consent,” but were blocked by Republicans including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who called it "overreach" that would undermine the court's ability to operate.

In April of last year, all the Supreme Court justices signed a statement on ethics and practices and in November they adopted a code of conduct, but Democrats have complained it doesn't go far enough to restore public trust and confidence in the court.

 

Tlaib highlighted a recent dustup involving Alito's wife who, in the weeks after the 2020 presidential election, flew an upside-down U.S. flag outside their Virginia home ― a symbol employed by certain Trump supporters who falsely claimed that President Joe Biden had stolen the election that year. Alito has argued that his wife flew at least one flag after a neighborhood dispute.

"The American people are supposed to trust him to decide the cases around Jan. 6?" Tlaib said.

Tlaib also repeated her support for expanding the Supreme Court and enacting term limits for justices, as well as expediting impeachment proceedings. She said Thomas never should have been confirmed to the bench because senators should have listened to Anita Hill, who testified in 1991 before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Thomas had sexually harassed her.

During the 1991 hearings, Thomas denied Hill’s allegations and invoked racial discrimination by describing the proceedings as “a national disgrace … , a high-tech lynching for uppity Blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves.”

"Thomas and Alito need to be impeached and removed from the bench now," Tlaib said. "Our country deserves a Supreme Court that's acting in the best interest of the American people, not a court that is accepting bribes and doing the bidding of right-wing extremists."

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