Thursday night, Lawrence O’Donnell played a 2018 video clip in which Ginni interviewed her husband:
GINNI THOMAS: And the best part of being a justice?
CLARENCE THOMAS: First of all, it would be impossible without you. I have to be honest. It would be -- it's sort of like, how do you run with one leg? You can't. It makes it whole when I have my wife.
Sweet, yes. But when the guy who can’t do his job without his wife is a Supreme Court justice and the wife is an extremist who worked to overthrow the last presidential election, and hubby has failed to recuse himself from cases on those subjects, that’s a whole other kettle of fishy.
Following the clip, O’Donnell’s guests, law professor Stephen Gillers and commentator Eugene Robinson, each agreed that it was imperative for Thomas to recuse himself from any future cases involving either the election or January 6th. But neither thought he would.
Robinson said Thomas “probably will not” recuse, even though it's a "slam dunk" that he should. A lot of Thomas’ Supreme Court career “has been about defiance,” Robinson said. “I think defiance is part of his character. I think he sees it as part of why he’s there.”
“Maybe he can be convinced by the other justices,” Robinson continued, “But I don’t think he will.”
Gillers called it “near to certain” that Thomas will not recuse. “I think he will see it as an admission that he shouldn’t have sat in the earlier cases,” Gillers said. “So, he’s going to stay.”
Thomas has been appointed for life and no one on the Supreme Court can make him recuse, Gillers added. That makes Thomas “the final arbiter” of recusal. “And he is going to rule in favor of himself. That's for sure.”