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Clarence Thomas Officially Discloses Travels With GOP Donor As Supreme Court Justices File New Financial Reports

Washington- Justice Clarence Thomas officially disclosed two trips he took with Republican megadonor Harlan Crow in 2019, according to his financial disclosure report for 2023 made public Friday.

The report, filed by Thomas on May 15, included an amendment to his disclosure form for 2019 to list two trips he took with Crow in July of that year. The first, in Bali, lists Thomas as a guest of Harlan and Kathy Crow. The judge said he was given food and hotel accommodation.

The second trip, to Monte Rio, California, over three days in July 2019, again lists Thomas as a guest of Crow’s. He said he received food and accommodation at a private club.

The information was “inadvertently omitted at the time of filing,” according to Thomas’ most recent annual disclosure form. It notes that the judge “sought and received advice from his accountant and ethics advisor” when preparing his report for 2023.

The financial disclosure reports of eight of the nine sitting judges were made public on Friday. Justice Samuel Alito requested and was granted a 90-day extension to file his disclosure, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Financial disclosures by Supreme Court justices

Supreme Court justices pose for an official portrait Friday, October 7, 2022 in Washington, DC

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images


Revelations show that judge Ketanji Brown Jackson received four concert tickets from singer Beyoncé, worth $3,711. She also received artwork for her apartments worth $10,000 and $2,500. Thomas’ report states he received two photo albums worth $2,000.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh received no gifts last year, according to their reports.

Several judges have received royalties from their books and income from other projects. Sotomayor, for example, raked in more than $86,000 in royalties from publisher Penguin Random House and just under $2,000 from a production company for her appearance on the PBS animated show “Alma’s Way.”

Jackson, meanwhile, received a book advance of more than $893,000 from Penguin Random House, paid through KayPac LLC, of ​​which her report lists her as the “sole member.” Her husband launched the business in 2022, according to the group Fix the Court, which advocates for more transparency at the Supreme Court.

Gorsuch reported $312 in royalties from Princeton University Press and $250,000 in royalty income from HarperCollins, according to his disclosure. Kavanaugh’s disclosure shows he brought in $340,000 in book royalties from Javelin Group/Regnery Publishing.

Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett received teaching income in 2023, according to their reports.

Thomas remains an honorary board member of the Horatio Alger Association, and Sotomayor mentioned her position as executive director of iCivics, an organization created by the late Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that promotes civics education in schools . Kavanaugh coached a women’s basketball team, according to his disclosure report.

The reports are submitted annually to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and reflect a judge’s outside duties, income, reimbursements, gifts, and investments for the previous calendar year. The financial disclosures sparked renewed interest following media outlet ProPublica’s reporting last year detailing trips Thomas accepted from Crow — including to Bali and the private club in California — and real estate deals between the two , which had not been listed. in the judge’s previous reports.

Thomas said last year that he didn’t believe he was required to disclose his travel and pledged to comply with guidelines regarding personal hospitality issued last year by the Judicial Conference, the decision-making body of the federal courts. Justice report for 2022 the listed flights that Thomas took aboard Crow’s private plane, as well as lodging at his property in the Adirondacks. Thomas also provided details on a Real estate transaction 2014 with Crow that ProPublica revealed.

Its report for 2023 included no reimbursements for lodging, transportation, food or entertainment.

Revelations about Thomas’ relationship with Crow, a Texas real estate developer, ignited a political storm over the Supreme Court’s ethical practices and prompted the nation’s highest court to adopt a binding code of conduct.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has opened an investigation into this matter and advanced legislation it would require the Supreme Court to adopt an enforceable code of ethics. Committee Democrats also authorized assignments to Crow and Leonard Leo, a conservative judicial activist. The subpoena against Leo was issued in April, and he refused to comply. A Crow spokesperson said he had not received one.

The Supreme Court adopted a formal code of conduct in November, although it provided no enforcement mechanism.

The Court’s unilateral action did little to stem the justices’ scrutiny. Controversial erupted last month on two flags flown outside Alito’s homes in Virginia and New Jersey. The first, an upside-down American flag, was seen outside Alito’s Virginia residence in early January 2021. The second, an “Call to Heaven” flag, was displayed outside his New Jersey vacation home in summer 2023.

Alito appeals rejected congressional Democrats over two cases involving former President Donald Trump and said he was not involved in the protests. He said the flags were flown by his wife, Martha-Ann Alito, and neither of them knew their meaning. Both types were carried by rioters who violated the US Capitol Building on January 6, 2021and became associated with the “Stop the Steal” movement.

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News Source : www.cbsnews.com

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