(TargetLiberty.org) – On Monday, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats pressed Chief Justice John Roberts to launch an investigation following the recent ProPublica report which showed that Justice Clarence Thomas for the past two decades had repeatedly accepted luxury trips and gifts from a Republican mega donor.
The letter signed by the committee’s 11 Democrats, stated that following the ProPublica report they would be holding a hearing looking into Thomas’ various trips paid for by billionaire Harlan Crow, a Dallas-based real estate developer who has over the years donated millions to the Republican party. They added that the Senate Judiciary Committee would be holding a hearing in order to “restore confidence in the Supreme Court’s ethical standards.” They continued by stating that if the court is unable to solve this case independently, then the Committee would “consider legislation to resolve it.” They further urge the Supreme Court to conduct its own investigation if they want to avoid having Congress take action.
The report by ProPublica showed how Thomas had joined Crow on multiple vacations, including trips on his private jet and 162-foot yacht. The overall cost of the gifts over the years is estimated to have been in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The sitting Justice did not disclose any of these trips, which as the lawmakers write in the letter is “plainly inconsistent with the ethical standards the American people expect of any person in a position of public trust.”
Under federal law, Supreme Court justices have to file annual financial disclosures, but Thomas has claimed that he had previously been “advised” that trips falling under the personal hospitality exception did not need to be disclosed.
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