Petition to Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas Amasses 1.2M Signatures

A petition seeking the impeachment of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas has now reached more than 1.2 million signatures despite an apparent slowdown in new supporters.

The petition, organized by the public policy advocacy group MoveOn, is currently aiming for 1.3 million signatures and calls for Thomas to either resign or face impeachment, which is possible under the U.S. Constitution.

Momentum appears to have slowed in recent weeks following a surge in support after the Court's landmark abortion decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

Thomas joined the Court's majority opinion, authored by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and also wrote his own concurring opinion, which also caused controversy.

Though the petition was set up before the June 24 majority opinion that overturned landmark abortion rights decisions in 1973's Roe v. Wade and 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey, it has received significant support since the ruling was published.

On June 16, the petition to impeach Justice Thomas had 230,000 signatures. That figure jumped to 700,000 by June 27 - three days after the opinion in Dobbs - and then hit one million signatures by July 4.

In the 10 days since, the petition has only garnered around 200,000 additional signatures but it remains very close to its ultimate goal.

The petition did not originally mention abortion but instead highlighted Thomas' wife, Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a conservative activist who has been a focus of controversy over her conversations with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. She encouraged Meadows to continue efforts to overturn the election results.

The petition's "Why is this important?" section was updated following the court's majority opinion in Dobbs.

It now says the court is "effectively taking away the right to privacy and bodily autonomy that's been considered legal precedent for the past 50 years. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—who sided with the majority on overturning Roe—made it clear what's next: to overturn high court rulings that establish gay rights and contraception rights."

That's a reference to part of Thomas' concurring opinion in Dobbs where he wrote: "In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, & Obergefell."

Those are three landmark Supreme Court decisions that established a right to contraception, found criminal sanctions against consensual homosexual sex to be unconstitutional, and established a right to same-sex marriage.

Thomas is now the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court and the most senior member of its conservative wing. It is constitutionally possible to impeach a justice but that has only happened once and that justice was not ultimately removed from office.

 Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
A petition to impeach Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has now garnered 1.2 million signatures. In this combination image, Thomas (Inset) speaks at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. and demonstrators protest at the entrance of the gated community where Thomas lives in Fairfax, Virginia, after the Supreme Court struck down the right to abortion on June 24, 2022. Getty