Clarence Thomas reveals trips paid for by GOP donors according to judges’ financial report: NPR

Members of the Supreme Court sit for a new group portrait following the arrival of Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, in the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, October 1, 2017. 7, 2022.

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WASHINGTON — Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday reported an increase in travel expenses paid by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow, while several of his colleagues reported six-figure payments in book deals.

Thomas, who has been criticized for failing to report luxury trips paid for by Crow and others for many years, said in his annual financial report that in 2019 Crow paid for a hotel room in Bali, in Indonesia, for one night only, and food and lodging at a private club in Sonoma County, California. He reported no trips paid for by others last year.

The disclosure on Indonesia is curious because of what it omits: the rest of the trip. ProPublica reported last year that Thomas flew to Indonesia aboard Crow’s private jet and then boarded his superyacht for a tour of the islands, one of several trips Crow had given Thomas and to his wife, Ginni, over the years.

Another judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson, reported eye-popping numbers, an advance of nearly $900,000 for her upcoming memoir and eye-catching gifts, four tickets to a Beyoncé concert worth $3,700 from the singer she -even.

Jackson was one of four Supreme Court justices who reported significant income from book sales. Justice Brett Kavanaugh said he received $340,000 from the conservative company Regnery Publishing. The company has been sold and the book is to be published by a publishing house at Hachette Book Group, according to Axios, which also reported this week that Kavanaugh’s book will address his controversial confirmation, including the hearing of these allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied. The court confirmed Friday that the judge was drafting a legal brief.

Justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor reported royalty income of $250,000 and nearly $90,000, respectively.

In their day jobs, justices receive $298,500 this year, except for Chief Justice John Roberts, who earns $312,200.

The only justice whose report was not available Friday was Samuel Alito, who was granted a continuance of up to 90 days, as is the case most years. The judge was also investigated over flags flying in front of homes owned by him. He said they were raised by his wife.

Jackson, the first Black woman serving on the nation’s highest court, signed a book deal shortly after taking her seat in 2022. The book “Lovely One” is scheduled to be published in September.

The total value of her book deal has not been publicly disclosed, but it is expected to rival, if not exceed, what Sotomayor received for her memoir, “My Beloved World,” more than $3 million.

Among the current justices, only Roberts, Alito and Justice Elena Kagan have not had a book deal so far. Thomas received a then-staggering $1.5 million advance for his 2007 book, “My Grandfather’s Son.” Judge Amy Coney Barrett said in 2022 that she received $425,000 for a yet-to-be-published book, part of a $2 million deal she reportedly signed shortly after joining the court in 2020.

The disclosures paint a partial picture of judges’ finances because they are not required to reveal the value of their homes or, for those who are married, their spouse’s salary.

Judges adopted a code of ethics in November, although it lacks enforcement. The code treats travel, food and lodging as expenses rather than gifts, for which monetary values ​​must be reported. Judges are not required to attach a value to expenses.

In March, the federal judiciary began requiring judges to disclose travel-related gifts and their value — rather than reporting those gifts as reimbursements. The judges say they generally follow the same rules, but Thomas did not disclose the cost of the Bali hotel.

Some Democrats are currently continuing to push legislation that would require the court to adopt a binding code of conduct and provide for investigations into alleged violations. But the prospect of such legislation is considered remote in a closely divided Congress.

Only two judges reported receiving gifts last year. Thomas said Terrence Giroux and his wife gave him two photo albums worth $2,000. Giroux is the executive director emeritus of the Horatio Alger Association.

Jackson received artwork for his Supreme Court office worth $12,500. And then there were the Beyoncé tickets, worth over $900 each. Beyoncé performed two concerts in the Washington area in August 2023, although Jackson’s disclosure did not specify when or where the tickets were for.

“Judge Jackson is madly in love with Beyoncé’s music,” Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said, referring to a Beyoncé song. “Who is not?”

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