Clarence Thomas ‘absolutely should recuse himself’ from ruling on Trump’s 2024 eligibility, Raskin says

Maryland Democrat Jamie Raskin calls on Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from the Supreme Court’s decisions on whether Colorado and Maine can keep Trump off their ballots using the 14th Amendment.

Stand down

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Raskin argued that Thomas’s wife supporting Trump’s 2020 election lies should prevent him from participating in the decisions.

Raskin voices concerns 

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Raskin was speaking ahead of the Supreme Court stepping in to adjudicate the recent state rulings from Colorado and Maine that removed the former president from their general election primaries under the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause in the 14th Amendment.

Calls out Thomas’s wife

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Raskin told CNN he thought “anybody looking at this in any kind of dispassionate, reasonable way would say if your wife was involved in the big lie and claiming that Donald Trump actually won the presidential election and [had] been agitating for that and participating in the events leading up to January 6, that you shouldn’t be participating.”

Raskin’s history of opposing Trump

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Thomas’s wife, Ginni, is a hard-right conservative and was a vocal supporter of Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Raskin led the push for Trump’s second impeachment following January 6 and is now leading calls for Thomas to stand down ahead of the Supreme Court hearings.

Maine and Colorado boot Trump off ballots 

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Maine’s Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, recently decided to remove Trump from the state’s ballot, arguing he was ineligible under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Her decision follows the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling barring Trump from the state ballot.

Supreme Court has the final say

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Trump is expected to challenge both decisions, which are likely to be decided by the Supreme Court ultimately. Challenges to keep the former president off the ballot using the 14th Amendment have also been made by several other states. 

He’ll do it again

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Raskin also warned that Trump, the favorite in the Republican primary by double digits, would inevitably attempt to overturn this year’s election if he were to lose again.

If Biden wins

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“If he’s allowed to stay on the ballot, despite his clear incitement of an insurrection and attempt to overturn the results in the 2020 election, and if he loses to Joe Biden as he almost certainly would… he will feel himself a martyr and he will try to overturn the election result again,” said Raskin, who served on the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 attack.

Don’t back down

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“So I don’t think we can run scared from Donald Trump. We’ve got to enforce our constitution,” Raskin added. Both Trump’s allies and his primary challengers have argued that the decisions in Maine and Colorado were politically motivated.

DeSantis criticizes decision

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In a Fox News interview, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Maine’s decision “opens Pandora’s box.” Even Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor, who has been highly critical of Trump, accusing him of “intolerance towards everyone,” voiced concerns over the decision.

Martyr Trump

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“It makes him a martyr,” Christie told CNN. “He’s very good at playing, ‘Poor me, poor me,’ he’s very good at complaining. But stuff like this should be decided by the voters of the US, it should not be decided by the courts.”

Chris Sununu weighs in

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Republican New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu defended Trump, telling the State of the Union that he believed the 14th Amendment argument used by Bellows and the Colorado Supreme Court was bogus.

Why aren’t the other states doing the same?

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“If there was any validity about keeping Trump off the ballot, you’d see 48 other states trying to do the same thing,” said Sununu, who has endorsed Trump rival Nikki Haley for the Republican nomination.

Supreme Court to the rescue

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“I think it is very politically motivated by the Maine Secretary of State, Trump should be on the ballot [and] everybody just hopes that the Supreme Court gets involved and overturns what Maine and Colorado are trying to do.”

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