A petition seeking the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has netted more than 1.1 million signatures following several controversies.
“Thomas’ failure to recuse himself warrants immediate investigation and heightened alarm. And it’s only the latest in a long history of conflicts of interest in the service of a right-wing agenda and mixing his powerful role with his conservative political activism,” the petition states.
Thomas has found himself in several controversies in recent months. He was part of the majority opinion to ban abortions and, in his opinion, signaled same-sex marriage and birth control as the next items that the court should ban. Additionally, his wife, Virginia Thomas, had ties to the organizers of the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot, which led to the Jan. 6 Commission asking her to testify, a request she declined.
According to Newsweek, the petition was set up before the High Court’s opinion overturning abortion rights decisions Roe v. Wade and Parenthood v. Casey on June 24. Since the ruling was published, the petition has picked up steam, netting over 1 million signatures by July 4.
Thomas was nominated for the High Court by President George H.W. Bush to fill the seat left vacant by Thurgood Marshall. He was sworn in on Oct. 23, 1991, becoming the second Black justice to sit on the Court in U.S. history.
Thomas’ confirmation hearing was marred with controversy due to a staffer in his office, Anita Hill, who claimed Thomas sexually harassed her.
Hill testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Joe Biden led at the time. Despite Hill’s testimony, Thomas was confirmed by a 52-48 vote in the Senate.
The issue became a hot topic during the 2020 presidential election when Biden called her to express regret for not doing more to protect her more than 20 years later, but Hill told The New York Times the call left her deeply unsatisfied.