Justice Clarence Thomas Faces Backlash
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is facing criticism from both sides of the political aisle over his relationship with GOP megadonor Harlan Crow. Thomas has reportedly taken lavish vacations paid for by Crow, leading some to question his impartiality in judicial decisions.
ProPublica Report Exposes Undisclosed Luxury Trips
A recent ProPublica report revealed that Justice Thomas has been accepting luxury trips from real estate magnate and Republican donor Harlan Crow for over two decades without disclosing them. The undisclosed vacations included stays at Crow's private lakeside resort in New York's Adirondacks and trips on his private jet and superyacht.
Ethics Experts Question the Legality of Thomas' Actions
According to ethics experts, Thomas may have broken the law by not reporting these trips on his annual financial records. Some "personal hospitality" expenses, like lodging and entertainment, do not need to be disclosed. However, the extent of the gifts and their potential impact on Thomas' impartiality have raised concerns.
Democrats Call for Greater Financial Transparency in Judiciary
In response to the ProPublica report, several congressional Democrats have called for investigations into the Supreme Court and greater financial transparency and accountability in the federal judiciary. They argue that the court should adopt an enforceable code of conduct and be subject to stricter financial reporting requirements.
Both Liberals and Conservatives Express Disapproval
The revelations about Thomas' relationship with Crow have drawn criticism from liberals and conservatives. While Democratic politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ted Lieu have been vocal in their condemnation, former Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman has also expressed concern, stating that Thomas "should not be allowed anywhere near a judicial decision."
Current GOP Lawmakers Remain Silent
Despite the bipartisan backlash, current Republican lawmakers, including House and Senate leadership, have yet to comment. The increased scrutiny on Thomas comes as his wife, a longtime conservative activist, has also faced controversy for her attempts to challenge the 2020 election results.