ProPublica blockbuster on undisclosed gifts to Justice Thomas

Here’s an excerpt:

For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman [Harlan Crow] 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.

Here’s the law in question, requiring annual filing by government officials (including Supreme Court justices), and guidance on filing by the Administrative Office of the Courts (gifts are covered starting on p. 28).  Here are Justice Thomas’s past disclosures, which often list no reportable gifts.

David Savage, in the LA Times, points out that the “LA Times reported about Justice Thomas’ gifts 20 years ago.  After that he stopped disclosing them

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