Earlier this week, Justice Clarence Thomas ordered an administrative stay, giving the Court further time to weigh Senator Lindsey Graham’s emergency application requesting the Supreme Court reverse the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and block the Fulton County District Attorney, Fani Willis, and a special purpose grand jury from requiring him to answer their questions.
Graham claims he has constitutional immunity derived from the speech and debate protection for members of Congress. However, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit, two appointed by former President Trump, unanimously ruled that Graham could be required to answer some of the grand jury’s questions.
Thomas’ temporary order effectively shields the Senator from having to respond to law enforcement engaged in investigating former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. Thomas also ordered prosecutors to respond to the application by Thursday, signaling the matter will be considered by the full court.
Thomas is the Supreme Court Justice assigned to the Eleventh Circuit and thus is the sole initial decision maker for these types of requests. Typically, judges would recuse themselves from cases where they personally know the parties, especially when they have long standing close relationships. Thomas’ increasingly overt political preferences have led to concerns over the ethics of his decision to continue to handle cases. While other federal judges have to adhere to the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges that establish standards for recusal and political activity, Supreme Court Justices do not. There is no governing body to hold justices accountable for failing to remove themselves from a case where there is a conflict of interest. Indeed, there is nothing that prevents Supreme Court Justices from ruling on cases where they have conflicts of interest.
See the orginal article here: Justice Thomas Briefly Shields Graham From Georgia Elections Inquiry Subpoena - The New York Times
Photo via sumpremecourt.gov