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John M. Crisp, an opinion columnist for Tribune News Service, lives in Georgetown, Texas.

Justice Clarence Thomas is not going to resign from the Supreme Court. He will not be impeached. And anyone who imagines that Thomas will recuse himself from cases before the Court that are connected to his wife’s efforts to overthrow the 2020 election is mistaken.

The right has worked hard to engineer a six-member conservative majority on the court, and now that it has the power, it will use it. In fact, we can expect the right to continue to embrace the essential principle of modern American politics: Concede nothing.

If you want to argue that the left is sometimes as bad about this as the right, well, OK, I’ll concede your point.

But Republicans have a special penchant for declining to concede anything — even elections — especially if they can make the left squirm. They have a term for it: “owning the libs.”

But the libs have a right to be concerned about a Supreme Court justice whose wife is deeply committed to invalidating an entirely legitimate election. Even if Thomas is able to isolate his jurisprudential reasoning from his wife’s fantasies of voter fraud, shouldn’t all Americans expect the appearance of evenhandedness and the rejection of conflicts of interest?

Not according to conservative columnist George Will, who in a recent Washington Post dismissed concerns about the appearance of impartiality on the court as mere “kerfuffle.”

Will admits that Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas, is mistaken, and he describes her confusion in terms worth quoting: “The shelves of her mental pantry groan beneath the weight of Trumpian hysterics about the 2020 presidential election having been stolen and the republic’s certain ruination under Joe Biden.”

But Will does not concede that Ginni Thomas has any influence over Justice Thomas, suggesting that anyone who has a problem with “appearances” on the court has a problem himself.

But I have two problems with this casual dismissal of appearances:

The first is access. I don’t know what the pillow talk is like around the Thomas household, but nothing about Ginni suggests that she is reluctant to express her opinions. It’s easy to imagine that in all matters related to the 2020 election, Clarence Thomas has been subjected to a persistent oral argument with no opportunity to hear a rebuttal.

But here’s a bigger problem: George Will casually dismisses Ginni’s opinions, calling her “politically, mad as a hatter.” The problem is that, in fact, her opinions are not exactly on the Republican fringe.

According to a recent University of Massachusetts at Amherst poll, only 21 percent of Republicans say that Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 was legitimate. Eighty-three percent say that “fraudulent ballots” were counted for Joe Biden.

In short, while Ginni Thomas may be particularly outspoken, she cannot be dismissed as an outlying crackpot. I don’t know if she actually believes the election was stolen or whether her position — in the face of all the contrary evidence — is merely a refusal to concede. But the really important question here is not what Ginni thinks, but what Clarence thinks.

Justice Thomas could defuse concerns about his wife’s influence, as well as the impartiality of the court, by telling us whether he thinks the 2020 election was legitimate. Of course, justices should not telegraph how they will rule on particular cases, but Thomas has never been shy about revealing his outlook and opinions.

He publicly professes a faith in God, as well as an affinity for Ayn Rand. He has said, “I certainly have some very strong libertarian leanings.”

If Thomas is willing to reveal this much about himself, why can’t he tell us whether he believes the election was legitimate? He could support Ginni’s right to her opinion, but he might be able to reassure Americans who are concerned about politicization of the court simply by being as straightforward and honest as his wife.

The notion of a Supreme Court justice who believes — against all evidence — that the current administration is illegitimate is deeply alarming. Justice Thomas could alleviate much of the concern just by telling us what he thinks about the election.