Virginia, wife of Clarence Thomas, has a history of political activism: NPR


Ginni Thomas and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas arrive for the State Dinner hosted by President Trump at the White House in honor of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on September 20, 2019.

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Ginni Thomas and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas arrive for the State Dinner hosted by President Trump at the White House in honor of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on September 20, 2019.

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Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is a Heartland girl, originally from Omaha, Neb., born into a Republican family.

Known then as Virginia Lamp, she attended school and studied law at Creighton University in her hometown.

At one point, she aspired to be a member of Congress and made the conservative movement her mission.

“A lot of people know me because of my husband who’s on the Supreme Court, but the truth is, I’m my mother’s daughter,” Thomas said in a political endorsement video for the senator’s 2016 presidential race. of Texas GOP, Ted Cruz, explaining that his mother was once a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

Several years earlier, Thomas had helped lead the charge in the rising Tea Party movement, a movement in which Cruz also figured prominently.

“And I caught the virus when I was a teenager,” she said in Cruz’s video.

Ginni Thomas, wife of Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, moderates a panel discussion titled “When Did World War III Begin?

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Ginni Thomas, wife of Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, moderates a panel discussion titled “When Did World War III Begin?

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A long track record in conservative activism

Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has a long history of conservative activism. Over the years, this activism has turned more controversial.

It took a particularly dramatic turn in the weeks following former President Trump’s re-election loss when Thomas was in touch with Trump’s White House aide at the time to actively pursue the cancellation of results.

“This is extraordinary. This is a pipeline between the wife of a Supreme Court justice, the judiciary and the White House chief of staff,” said CBS News correspondent Robert Costa, one of the reporters who first broke the Washington Post-CBS article on the text messages, told NPR.

In the weeks following Trump’s loss in November 2020, Thomas sent 29 messages to his chief of staff Mark Meadows pushing false allegations and conspiracy theories. She urged him and others to fight against President-elect Biden’s victory.

NPR has independently confirmed the text messages and their contents with sources familiar with House Select Committee discussions but not officially authorized to speak.

A source familiar with the panel’s discussions also said Ginni Thomas was not the target of the committee’s investigation and the panel had not decided whether or not to ask her to appear to testify.

Thomas faces new controversy with the revelations, but even as the wife of a Supreme Court justice, she retains the ability to exercise her freedom of speech, experts say.

“On one side is Ginni Thomas, the political activist, who has, you know, certainly what I would call extreme views, but views that she of course has a constitutional right to hold,” said the University of Texas law professor. Stephen Vladeck, who specializes in issues facing the Supreme Court.

After graduating from law school, Thomas focused on labor issues.

In the 1980s, she met her future husband, who was then chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

They married in 1987 and he was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1991.

Jumping into her husband’s job

Thomas did not hesitate to embark on her husband’s work. For example, she contacted attorney Anita Hill to demand an apology after Hill accused her husband of sexual harassment.

“So think about it and certainly pray about it, and I hope one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. OK, have a great day,” Ginni Thomas said in the post. .

Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas is flanked by his wife Ginni during his confirmation hearings in 1991. Ginni Thomas asked law professor Anita Hill to apologize for filing sexual harassment charges against her husband .

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Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas is flanked by his wife Ginni during his confirmation hearings in 1991. Ginni Thomas asked law professor Anita Hill to apologize for filing sexual harassment charges against her husband .

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It was one of Ginni Thomas’ many public moments.

She made her connection to her husband known, once interviewing him for the Daily Caller.

“Clarence Thomas, you are the finest man that walks the face of the earth,” she told her husband during the 2018 interview.

Thomas replied “I’m really stressed about this interview.”

The two have made it clear that they are connected through politics, religion and more.

Recently, Ginni Thomas told the Washington Free Beacon that, like many married couples, they share many of the same ideas. However, she said they stayed out of each other’s work.

“Clarence doesn’t discuss his work with me and I don’t involve him in my work,” she told the outlet.

Thomas admitted that she attended the Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse that preceded the attack on the Capitol, but left early because it was cold and she didn’t go to the Capitol. . She also noted that she did not help organize the attack.

But these links are more important today. In January, the Supreme Court granted a Democratic-led House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack access to Trump’s White House records. Trump had filed a lawsuit to block the move, and Judge Thomas was the lone dissenter.

It remains unclear if Ginni Thomas’ text messages were part of those recordings or if Judge Thomas had knowledge of them.

Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, said the reports highlight how closely the court is monitoring itself when it comes to ethics.

“It sheds additional light on something that some of us have known for some time, which is that there really aren’t enough ethical rules that apply to the Supreme Court and that there is no there is no enforcement mechanism for these rules”, Vladeck mentioned.

And while Vladeck says it’s unclear whether Judge Thomas violated any ethical rules, this new development leaves Congress, yet again, with a dilemma about how to address such concerns in the future. .

“If nothing else, this reinforces the need for Congress to have a serious conversation about imposing the same ethical rules on the Supreme Court that apply to lower court judges,” Vladeck said. “And on what to do in circumstances where it seems pretty clear that a judge has violated those rules.”

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