Emails reveal that Clarence Thomas and Ron DeSantis had lunch in 2021: report

Emails reveal that Clarence Thomas and Ron DeSantis had lunch in 2021: report

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has arguably become the second most prominent figure in the far-right MAGA movement — second only to former President Donald Trump. If Trump doesn’t run for president in the 2024 election, countless pundits have observed, DeSantis would have a very good shot at winning the Republican nomination. And DeSantis has become so prominent in his party that according to newly obtained e-mails, he had lunch with a U.S. Supreme Court Justice in 2021: Clarence Thomas.

The e-mails were obtained by American Oversight under Florida’s open-records law and show DeSantis’ assistant coordinating the lunch, which was held at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 23, 2021. Four of Thomas’ clerks, according to the e-mails, attended.

In a May 20, 2021 e-mail, Thomas assistant Shean Kelly Makel wrote, “Justice Thomas will attend the June 23rd luncheon with Governor DeSantis and the Justice's four law clerks. Do you think that the Governor would mind coming to the Supreme Court for lunch? Technically we are still closed to the public but the clerks can order lunch from a local restaurant. Or they can dine at Capital Grille. Please let me know."

READ MORE:Ron DeSantis’ lack of 'bipartisan success' is the key to his popularity with MAGA voters: columnist

In a separate e-mail, dated June 1, 2021, Makel wrote, “The Justice and his law clerks will dine in the Natalie Rehnquist Dining Room from 12:00 -2:00 p.m. Would the Governor arrive with his security detail? If so, I would need his contact info for the security team here at the Court. I will let them handle the logistics on arriving to the Court, parking and, etc. Does the Governor have any food allergies? Or a restricted diet?"

Thomas is now the longest-serving justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The Republican justice was nominated by the late President George H.W. Bush in 1991 after Justice Thurgood Marshall announced his retirement. Marshall, nominated by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967, was the first Black justice on the High Court — and Bush 41 nominated an African-American justice to replace an African-American justice. But while Marshall, who died in 1993, was a liberal, Thomas is a far-right social conservative known for embracing an ultra-strict version of Catholicism and for his staunch opposition to abortion and gay rights.

DeSantis, also known for being a far-right social conservative, served in the U.S. House of Representatives before narrowly defeating Democrat Andrew Gillum, a former Tallahassee mayor, in Florida’s 2018 gubernatorial race. While that race was quite close, the 2022 reelection is, according to polls, shaping up to be a much larger win for DeSantis. Some polls released in late October have shown DeSantis with double-digit leads over his Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist.

READ MORE: CREW demands 'immediate investigation' of Clarence and Ginni Thomas for possible 'conflicts of interest’

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