Category Archives: financial disclosure

Rothman Seeks Ethics Investigation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Press Release

Washington, DC – On October 7, 2011, Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), along with 45 of his colleagues, sent a letter to the leaders of the House Committee on the Judiciary urging them to investigate and hold hearings on the outstanding ethical questions surrounding U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Here is the letter:

October 7, 2011

Lamar Smith
Chairman, Judiciary Committee
2138 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member, Judiciary Committee
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Conyers:

We are deeply concerned about recent reports concerning potential ethics violations by a Member of the United States Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas. We are also concerned by the unwillingness or inability of the Court to address these allegations in a manner that promotes public confidence and trust in the judicial system.

As you know, unlike all other federal judges, Justices of the United States Supreme Court have not adopted and are not subject to a comprehensive code of judicial ethics. In this instance, it is essential that the Congress – and in particular the House Judiciary Committee – review these allegations to ensure the integrity of the Court is not comprised in the eyes of the public.

Public records clearly demonstrate that Justice Thomas has failed to accurately disclose information concerning the income and employment status of his wife, as required by law. According to a recent review by Common Cause, a nonpartisan government accountability group, Justice Thomas failed to report at least $1.6 million in income earned by his wife since 1997.

In addition, news reports indicate that Justice Thomas may have also failed to report gifts from wealthy supporters and inappropriately solicited donations for favored non-profit organizations. Meanwhile, the court continues to operate without a binding code of ethics or a transparent process to determine recusal.

We urge you, as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee of Jurisdiction, to investigate and hold hearings on the outstanding ethical questions surrounding the court.

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Filed under financial disclosure, House Judiciary Committee, Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S Supreme Court, US Congressman Steve Rothman

>Justice Thomas Omitted His Tea Partying Wife’s Income From Financial Disclosure Forms

>On Thursday of this past week, I posted a story about how US Supreme Court Justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, participated in political strategy sessions with the group Citizens United. Afterward they voted in favor of overturning a century’s worth of campaign finance laws which benefited Citizens United. Their (Scalia and Thomas) actions in this case were wrong, clearly unethical and a blatant example of judicial activism which should cause the US Attorney General to look into appointing a special prosecutor.

Now comes word from the website ThinkProgress.org that Justice Clarence Thomas hasn’t disclosed his wife’s income for the past six year. During which time she has earned over $680,000 from the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing, conservative think tank with ties to the Tea Party movement.

ThinkProgress writes:

“Federal judges and justices are required by law to disclose their spouse’s income — thus preventing persons who wish to influence the judge or justice from funneling money to them through their husband or wife. Yet, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Justice Clarence Thomas has not complied with this requirement for years…”

“This revelation that Justice Thomas failed to comply with his disclosure obligations comes as he is caught up in another ethics scandal regarding his participation in fundraisers for far-right political groups. Thomas once attended a gathering of wealthy corporate activists convened by billionaire Charles Koch to raise money for right-wing political causes, and he also attended at least one fundraiser hosted by the far-right think tank that used to employ his wife….”


I don’t know if there is any past precedent that would allow a sitting US Supreme Court Justice to be removed from the bench for conduct unbecoming of a Justice, but do know that there has been lower court judges and justices that have been removed from their benches for similar or lesser offenses.
If these allegations turn out to be true, than I think impeachment and removal from the court is appropriate punishment for Justice Thomas.

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Filed under Citizens United, ethical violations, financial disclosure, Heritage Foundation, Justice Clarence Thomas, Tea Party, Think Progress