EXCLUSIVE: Democrat becomes first senator calling for Justice Thomas’ resignation

EXCLUSIVE: Democrat becomes first senator calling for Justice Thomas' resignation

A Democratic senator just called on the Supreme Court’s justice caught jet-setting on his billionaire friend’s dime to resign at the kickoff of a national tour to demand a fair and ethical Supreme Court. (video below)

Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) is the Senate sponsor of the Judiciary Act, a new bill introduced last week to expand the Supreme Court by four members to “restore balance to the nation’s highest court.”

On Monday, Markey appeared in Boston at the Just Majority tour kickoff with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Ayana Pressley, as well as progressive activist David Hogg and Caroline Fredrickson, a member of President Biden’s Presidential Commission on SCOTUS.

After the senior senator from Massachusetts started speaking about the need to “rebuild an expanded fair and ethical Supreme Court,” he seized the moment to become the first member of the upper chamber to call for the court’s most embattled member to step down:

“I will say what needs to be said: Clarence Thomas should resign from the Supreme Court of the United States. His reputation is unsalvageable.”

“It is evident that he cannot judge right from wrong,” continued the senator, slamming the longest-tenured justice. “So why should he be judging the country’s most important cases on its highest court.”

“Justice Thomas is compromised,” the Senator told Washington Press in exclusive remarks after the speech, explaining his rationale.

The Just Majority tour is a coalition of 30 national progressive organizations aiming to highlight partisan rulings and ethical lapses by the high court to call for reform. Its main goal is to expand the court using a bill in Congress.

“[The] Constitution gives Congress the power to expand the size of the court, and Congress has used that power six times before in our nation’s history,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) at the press event. “So there is precedence. This moment demands that we use that power; we wield it once again.”

“The most powerful reform is really court expansion,” said Fredrickson, “[it] is actually completely constitutional. There is no specified size in the Constitution for the Supreme Court, so expanding it is something that Congress can do.”

The last time Congress expanded the Supreme Court was in the late 19th century.

In support of court expansion, the tour will visit over 20 cities across America with future appearances by former Planned Parenthood leader Cecile Richards, Moms Demand founder Shannon Watts, and human rights activist Martin Luther King III.

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at the Just Majority Tour kickoff.
Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at the Just Majority Tour kickoff in Boston’s Copley Square with Sen. Edward Markey (left), Janson Wu, the executive director of GLAAD, and March for Our Lives co-founder David Hogg and Rep. Ayana Pressley.

“We are building a nationwide movement to ensure there is a majority on the Supreme Court that stands up for equal justice,” Senator Warren explained in her remarks. “I don’t wanna mess with the Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court is messing with our democracy.”

Up next for the tour is a stop in Newtown, Connecticut, to highlight the Supreme Court’s decision to expand gun rights in the Bruen decision.

“What happened with New York State v. Bruen – one of the most extreme decisions on guns in American history, if not the most extreme – basically holds that if a law wasn’t around at the framing of the Constitution essentially, then it’s not valid,” said David Hogg, a Parkland survivor who co-founded March for Our Lives. “So even gun laws that have been around for 100+ years are getting struck down because the Supreme Court is like: ‘You know what, Nah. We think all gun laws should be the same, like when it took a long time to reload with something like a musket, and we’re going to act like we need the same regulations in place for a musket, for an AR-15.’ That is plainly ridiculous.”

His group is working on getting young lawyers to sign pledges not to work with firms that support the gun lobby, amongst other efforts.

“If the shooter at my high school was using a musket,” said Hogg, “then you probably wouldn’t know who I am because he wouldn’t have gotten very far.”

“We need to support what these fine elected officials are doing, the Judiciary Act and its effort to expand the court,” said Rep. Pressley, who concluded, “because, without that, our future may be very dim.”

Here’s the video: 

This story was underwritten by the Just Majority campaign with funding from a 501c3 nonprofit charity. See full disclosure.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also a mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition, and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.