Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been on the take from a Republican mega-donor for decades, and his corruption is tainting the Supreme Court.
For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them, documents and interviews show. A public servant who has a salary of $285,000, he has vacationed on Crow’s superyacht around the globe. He flies on Crow’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crow’s sprawling ranch in East Texas. And Thomas typically spends about a week every summer at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks.
The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.
These trips appeared nowhere on Thomas’ financial disclosures. His failure to report the flights appears to violate a law passed after Watergate that requires justices, judges, members of Congress and federal officials to disclose most gifts, two ethics law experts said. He also should have disclosed his trips on the yacht, these experts said.
The access that Thomas has been giving to a Republican mega-donor is just the most explicit and bold illustration of his corruption, but other conservatives on the Supreme Court majority frequently keep company with Republican politicians and inject partisan politics into the Highest Court In The Land that would have been unfathomable in previous generations.
Supreme Court reform is desperately needed, but any congressional action that has to go through the House is DOA as long as Republicans are in majority.
Clarence Thomas should not be on the court, but there is zero chance that he will be impeached and removed from the bench. Adding more justices is an unpopular option, so the next step should be to implement a code of ethics, and a part of the long-term solution is term limits on justices.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
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Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association