May 11, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Clarence Thomas makes most substantial public comments since ethics probe

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sits with his wife Virginia Thomas

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Virginia Thomas at the Heritage Foundation on Oct. 21, 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas condemned critics and what he dubbed "nastiness" and "lies" in comments Friday a judicial conference in Alabama, per multiple news outlets.

Why it matters: Thomas was accused in a ProPublica ethics investigation last year of failing to disclose costly trips sponsored by a noted Republican megadonor.

Zoom in: Thomas' remarks at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals conference are the most substantial he has made since the ethics investigation, per the New York Times.

  • "There's certainly been a lot of negativity in our lives, my wife and I, over the last few years, but we choose not to focus on it," Thomas said.
  • He didn't address ethics questions about him at the judicial conference, CNN reported.

Catch up quick: Critics have also spotlighted Thomas' wife Ginni Thomas for trying to reverse 2020 presidential election results and Justice Thomas for not recusing himself from Supreme Court decisions about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

  • Ginni Thomas has admitted to attending former President Trump's rally preceding the riot.
  • Still, Justice Thomas refused to recuse himself from the appeal over Trump's claim to be immune from criminal charges for alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election's outcome.

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