Clarence Thomas Discloses GOP Donor Gift Trips in Filings

  • Author, Ana Faguy
  • Role, BBC News
  • Report of Washington

Details of how U.S. Supreme Court justices made money over the past year were made public Friday through the court’s financial disclosures.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson received Beyoncé tickets from the singer and Judge Clarence Thomas revealed two trips donated by top GOP donor Harlan Crow – a report on the gifted trips that put justice in the spotlight hot water earlier this year.

Four of the judges disclosed financial data related to the book transactions.

The reports, which cover the year 2023, were made public for eight of the nine justices, with Justice Samuel Alito requesting a 90-day extension for his report.

Supreme Court justices are required to file gift declarations each year.

Judge Brown Jackson received four tickets from Beyoncé worth more than $3,700 (over £2,900) to the singer’s concert.

Judge Thomas, meanwhile, included in this year’s report a revelation that he had taken two trips with Mr Crow in 2019 – one to Bali and one to California. Travel was added as an amendment to a previous disclosure.

The California trip took place at a “private club,” according to the report, possibly referring to Bohemian Grove, a California club for rich and powerful men. Judge Thomas is said to have already visited the club.

Food and lodging for both trips were offered to Judge Thomas, according to the disclosure, but he did not include the exact monetary value of the trips.

ProPublica reported last year that the 2019 trip to Bali could have cost up to $500,000 (£403,000).

As part of its report, the nonprofit news site revealed that Justice Thomas had accepted vacations from Mr. Crow, a real estate mogul, almost every year for two decades.

At the time the article was published, Justice Thomas countered by saying that “this kind of personal hospitality” did not need to be part of the annual disclosure.

Scrutiny of that omission led to similar criticism of other justices last year.

On Friday, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Brett Kavanaugh and Brown Jackson listed book royalties as part of their financial disclosures.

Justice Brown Jackson earned more than $893,000 (over £702,000) for a book advance for a yet-to-be-published memoir.

Justice Kavanaugh revealed he was paid $340,000 (£267,000) for an upcoming “legal brief”.

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