Democrats in Congress are again calling for additional Supreme Court ethics requirements and for Justice Clarence Thomas’ resignation after an investigative report found that he reportedly accepted significantly more free travel and other gifts than previously believed.
ProPublica expanded on their previous reporting into Thomas on Thursday, disclosing that the justice reportedly took 38 destination vacations paid for by influential political donors and repeatedly flew privately using an entire Boeing 737 jet.
“Cruel, callous and corrupt. While he rips away our rights, Clarence Thomas shamelessly cashes in from billionaires who share his extremist ideology,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) said on X, formerly Twitter. “Thomas must resign & Congress must pass a binding code of ethics for Supreme Court justices.”
Democrats have re-upped efforts for Supreme Court regulation with the news, following ProPublica’s first report on the justice in April, which found that he took private vacations funded by a prominent Republican donor.
A bill for a Supreme Court code of ethics passed the Judiciary Committee last month.
“No Justice should accept these types of gifts,” Rep. Gerry Connoly (D-Va.) said on X. “Thomas has repeatedly brought dishonor and ethical malpractice to our highest Court. I reiterate my call that he must resign. This is exactly why we need SCOTUS ethics reform.”
Justice Samuel Alito defended Thomas, saying that Congress has no right to regulate the court. Prominent legal scholars have disagreed.
“Would billionaires have given Justice Clarence Thomas massive gifts if he was just a law clerk? NO,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said on X. “That’s what makes this corrupt. They were seeking to curry favor with Justice Thomas, either directly or indirectly. And Justice Thomas violated the law in accepting the gifts.”
Thomas has since amended his gift disclosures from previous years. It is unclear if the newly-reported travel is included in those disclosures.
“Unprecedented. Stunning. Disgusting,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said on X. “The height of hypocrisy to wear the robes of a #SCOTUS and take undisclosed gifts from billionaires who benefit from your decisions. 38 free vacations. Yachts. Luxury mansions. Skyboxes at events. Resign.”
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