Raskin argues DOJ can force recusals of Alito, Thomas in Jan. 6 cases

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) has argued that the Department of Justice (DOJ) can force the resignations of Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in the lawsuits they face related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“Everyone assumes that the highest court in the country has the lowest ethical standards and that because there is no binding code of ethics or process other than personal reflection, nothing can be done about recusal situations,” the Maryland Democrat said. Said “Each justice must decide for himself whether he can remain impartial,” he said in an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Wednesday.

Raskin then noted that while Justices Alito and Thomas “could choose to recuse themselves,” “begging them to do the right thing would overlook a much more effective course of action.”

“The Department of Justice, including the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, the appointed U.S. Special Counsel, and the Attorney General, all of whom are differently involved in the criminal prosecutions underlying these cases and who disagree with Mr. Trump’s constitutional and legal arguments, can legally, but not necessarily, petition the other seven justices to recuse Justices Alito and Thomas,” Raskin continued.

Justices Alito and Thomas have recently been asked to recuse themselves from cases related to the January 6th attacks due to controversy over Justice Alito’s home reportedly displaying flags associated with the “Stop the Steal” movement and Justice Thomas’ wife’s reported involvement with the same movement.

“The Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland can assert two powerful literal bases for this motion: the United States Constitution, specifically the Due Process Clause, and the federal law requiring the disqualification of judges for opaque impartiality, 28 U.S. Code, Section 455,” Raskin said.

Congress has contacted the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court.

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