US Democratic lawmakers have called on Justice Clarence Thomas to resign from his post as a Supreme Court justice.
A new report by ProPublica news organization revealed on Thursday that Thomas had received far more undeclared gifts and vacations from rich donors than previously reported.
At least 38 destination vacations, including a previously unreported voyage on a yacht around the Bahamas; 26 private jet flights, plus an additional eight by helicopter; a dozen VIP passes to professional and college sporting events, typically perched in the skybox; two stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica; and one standing invitation to an uber-exclusive golf club overlooking the Atlantic coast are just a few of the stream of luxury gifts he received during his three decades on the Supreme Court, the recent ProPublica report revealed.
It added that Thomas had happily accepted—and did not disclose— the many luxury vacations he went on from four different billionaires: Harlan Crow, David Sokol, H. Wayne Huizenga, and Paul Novelly.
Earlier, ProPublica reported in April 2023 that Thomas had “accepted luxury trips virtually every year.”
In return for the gifts he had received from the donors, Thomas hosted an annual fundraiser at the Supreme Court for an exclusive society to which they all belong.
While some of the hospitality Thomas received, such as stays in personal homes, may not have required legal disclosure, the Supreme Court Justice appears to have violated the law by failing to disclose flights, yacht cruises and expensive sports tickets, according to experts.
The total value of the undisclosed gifts received by Thomas since 1991, the year he was appointed to the Supreme Court, is difficult to measure, but it is easily likely to be in the millions.
Ethics experts described Thomas’ conduct as an “abuse of office” and “the height of hypocrisy.”
Democratic lawmakers are calling for Thomas to resign after it was revealed that he has accepted gifts from billionaires for decades in exchange for access to the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Justices, who are nominally subject to ethics rules for federal judges, are in practice governed by themselves.
Thomas claims never to have discussed with his donors politics or business before the court, and to have been wrongly advised about disclosure requirements.