On Thursday, June 13, 2024, Forbes reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee found Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas failed to properly disclose travel gifts he received from Republican megadonor Harlan Crow.

The Committee’s ethics investigation uncovered three additional domestic flights on Crow’s private jet between 2017 and 2021 that Thomas did not list on legally required financial disclosures. Documents subpoenaed from Crow also revealed further undisclosed private jet travel and an eight-day yacht trip taken by Thomas.

Earlier this month, after coming under scrutiny, Thomas amended his 2019 financial disclosure to include two trips partially paid for by Crow – flights to Bali and lodging at Crow’s private club in California. However, transportation gifts must be disclosed according to Supreme Court rules, unlike food, lodging, or entertainment accepted as personal hospitality.

The latest revelations have reignited criticism of Thomas’ relationship with Crow and compliance with disclosure obligations. In 2021, ProPublica reported Thomas did not report luxury travel on Crow’s planes and yachts for years. Thomas was also accused of failing to disclose tuition payments from Crow to his grandnephew.

The continued allegations of ethics lapses involve two sitting Supreme Court justices. Justice Samuel Alito faced backlash over an upside-down American flag and “Appeal to Heaven” banner displayed at his homes, including the latter flag that was present at the January 6th Capitol riot.

In response to the ongoing controversies, Senate Democrats are pushing for a law establishing a Supreme Court code of conduct and increasing transparency. However, their most recent attempt to pass the so-called Supreme Court Ethics Act without amendments was blocked by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

Democrats argue new rules are needed since Chief Justice John Roberts has not used his authority to implement stronger ethical standards for the high court on his own. But their legislative effort remains stalled for now in the divided Senate.



Source: Forbes