Standards of decorum for a Supreme Court Justice's spouse

As reported in the New York Times Ginni Thomas Pressed Trump’s Chief of Staff to Overturn 2020 Vote, Texts Show - The New York Times

All sorts of issues here. Should the spouse of a Justice be constrained from expressing her political views? Presumably no one, including the spouse of a Justice, should be advocating insurrection. Would the Justice have to recuse himself if a closely related issue reaches the Supreme Court?

I think what she should be legally constrained from doing, and what she ought to do, are two different things.

She should not have been participating in a conspiracy to overturn the vote regardless of who she is.

Depending on her involvement, i think it’s very possible that justice thomas ought to resign. How can you claim to interpret the constitution after your wife has conspired against not just it, but the larger principle of representative democracy behind it? However, he is not guilty for his wife’s actions; we do not live in that kind of patriarchal society.

I agree that he may very well have some conflicts of interest. However, if the senate didn’t convict trump (twice) it certainly won’t punish him for refusing to recuse himself.

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The quotes I’ve seen don’t seem to be “advocating insurrection”. She thought the Ds committed election fraud and wanted someone to get to the bottom of it. Falling for a conspiracy theory that you want to believe is not the same as advocating insurrection.

That’s a fair point.

But asking someone to overturn election results goes well beyond “falling for a conspiracy theory”.

What grounds was she thinking / asking the election would be overturned on?


Decorum sounds to me like she was running around drunk in her underwear. This is more a question of whether she committed treason than whether she has poor decorum.

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There is real ambiguity here between these two things, morally speaking.

One can “honestly” fall for the conspiracy. By this, I mean you are honestly asking question, and making a real effort to find an answer that conforms with facts.

I’m sure some people honestly fell for the conspiracy that way. But i have trouble seeing how this can be true for an educated person like her, who understands how elections actually work.

We all have experienced trying to tell ourselves something is true because it justifies us getting something we want. It is a moral failing, not an intellectual one.

More troubling is that belief in this conspiracy theory was also an act of propaganda. It is hard to see how encouraging trump’s circle to believe the conspiracy does not also lead to the insurrection.

she (as a private citizen) can be however crazy she wants to be. disappointing to hear the influence she might have on her “best friend”, but so it goes.

He should take care not to rule on cases that she is going to def turn up in, like he did. (there are exceptions to this, but he seems to have sufficient conflict IMO.)

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No, she didn’t.

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She thought the Ds committed election fraud. It seems that the WaPo story is the source for this – someone leaked the contents of 21 text messages Thomas sent to Meadows (also 8 Meadows sent to Thomas).

Have you read it?

I’m disappointed that the Post didn’t just print out all 29 texts. Presumably, they picked the most damaging.

They’ve got a couple where she seems to be channeling Qanon stuff. A number of just cheerleading (“stand firm”). References Good vs. Evil, the “King of Kings” on our side. She pushes for Sidney Powell “Sounds like Sidney and her team are getting inundated with evidence of fraud.”

The last of those texts is on Nov 24, long before anybody was planning the Jan 6 rally. I think that timing is very relevant if you’re trying to parse the difference between honestly thinking there is fraud and dishonestly pushing something you know is false.

Then one more text on Jan 10, it says she is disgusted with Pence and also “Those who attacked the Capitol are not representative of our great teams of patriots for DJT!!”

I agree there is a difference between falling for a conspiracy theory and pushing one that you know is false. Have you read the WaPo story? If so, note that 20 of the texts were sent before Nov 24, and one on Jan 10.

Look at the wording, the reference to “tearing up” about this. I see someone who is somewhere in the right wing echo chamber really believing there must be fraud here.

Any evidence for that?

Yeah, based on the portion of the article I got through before the pop-ups and accidentally clicking on crap I didn’t mean to click on got to be too much and I gave up… it did seem like she honestly believed that there was fraud and Trump should have won. Or at a minimum that there might have been enough fraud to swing the election.

It does seem like Ginny Thomas did truly believe some crazy election fraud theories, and it does seem she didn’t want the violent insurrection part. However, it also seems she was advocating to overturn the election results due to her belief that Biden stole the election. She wanted it done via Pence rather than violence.

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I mean something more subtle.

My claim is that, given her background, G Thomas could not reasonably believe the conspiracy theory if she was valuing truth and democratic rule. She wanted the fraud to be true due to a desire for power, and may very well have convinced herself it was true.

A good parallel example is the search for cold fusion in the early 90s. Scientists were so excited to share in that discovery (which would have made energy effectively free) that they did bad science. They stopped putting truth first. This ambition is a moral failing.

Or the hypothetical man who convinces himself his wife would want him to have an affair, and not tell her, because he acts like a better husband that way. He really believes that at times. But still he does not tell her.

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From the snippets they posted in the article it does seem she’s pretty far down the Q rabbit hole. I would like to see the entire exchange. It appears that Meadows is trying to distance himself from what he knows is insane ranting on her part.

My default assumption is that the people pushing this nonsense are in on the scam and just trying to fleece the gullible true believers. I would have thought she is high enough on the food chain to know the truth but from her tone it seems she really did get sucked in. I wonder if her husband is a useful idiot like she is. It would be grounds for impeachment if true imo.

I don’t think being stupid or deluded are grounds for impeachment.


For most positions I would agree, but SCOTUS is a different category imo. Especially in this case since it could have a huge impact on the core function of our government. Being detached from reality should disqualify you from service imo.

Presumably not grounds for impeaching a president, since it wasn’t added to the charges. Could senators have acquitted him of that?

They have the 25th amendment for presidential incompetence. Need something like that for SCOTUS imo

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:iatp: Though the 25th amendment wasn’t used on an incompetent president. How incompetent was hidden until very late in his term. With SCOTUS terms for life, even more important.

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