Justice Clarence Thomas officially discloses Harlan Crow sponsored luxury vacations News
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Justice Clarence Thomas officially discloses Harlan Crow sponsored luxury vacations

US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas formally disclosed Friday two luxury vacations gifted from conservative billionaire and Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow in 2019. The disclosure came as part of a wider report concerning financial disclosures for justices on the high court.

The vacations were added as an amendment to Justice Thomas’ 2019 financial disclosure form and were listed as having been “inadvertently omitted at the time of filing.” The two vacations listed were July trips to Bali, Indonesia, and Monte Rio, California. Both trips were sponsored by real estate magnate Harlan Crow, and the justice received free food and lodging from a Crow-owned hotel and private club.

The form also included Thomas’ financial investment disclosures for 2023, reported two photo albums gifted to him worth $2,000 and listed him as an honorary member on the board of directors of the Horatio Alger Association.

Other Supreme Court justices’ disclosures were included in the report, with notable disclosures including Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson reporting four concert tickets from singer Beyoncé worth $3,711 and a book advance worth at least $893,000 from publisher Penguin Random House. Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh also reported book royalties in the hundreds of thousands in addition to teaching income.

Justice Thomas’ trips with Crow were first revealed in a ProPublica report that alleged Thomas had failed to disclose numerous gifts from Crow and others including vacations, flights on private jets, tuition payments for his great nephew’s education, and loan forgiveness. The report ignited a firestorm over judicial independence and the ties between wealthy elites and the nation’s highest court.

In August, Justice Thomas disclosed three vacations that he accepted from Crow in 2022, and in September news broke that Thomas had secretly attended donor events for a libertarian political organization founded by the billionaire Koch brothers. Despite the appearances, Justice Thomas has described himself as preferring “RV parks” and “the Walmart parking lots … [rather than] the beaches.”

Amid record low public confidence in the judiciary, Congress has attempted to advance an ethics reform bill for the Supreme Court, and the court adopted a new ethics code last November.