Headline RoundupJune 7th, 2024

Supreme Court Justices Disclose Gifts Received in New Financial Filings

Summary from the AllSides News Team

New financial disclosures and a report from a liberal watchdog shed new light on the gifts received by Supreme Court Justices. 

For Context: Last summer, a handful of Supreme Court justices faced criticism for accepting gifts, trips, and more from politically-active donors. Some of these gifts were not recorded in financial disclosures, which led to calls for Congress to draft a code of ethics for the Supreme Court. Whether Congress has the constitutional power to do this was disputed by the justices, but in November, the court announced the creation of its own code of ethics to “set out succinctly and gather in one place the ethics rules and principles that guide the conduct of the Members of the Court.”

Details: On Friday, Justice Clarence Thomas amended a past financial disclosure to include travel expenses paid for by conservative billionaire Harlan Crow. Thomas’ relationship with Crow was at the forefront of last year’s controversy. Liberal watchdog group Fix the Court also revealed on Friday that Thomas is the recipient of the majority of all gifts given to justices since 2004, receiving an estimated $4,042,286 in gifts out of $4,755,147 in total to all the justices. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson also disclosed Friday that she received concert tickets valued at $900,000 from Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, as well as a book advance of nearly $900,000. 

How the Media Covered It: In outlets across the spectrum, Thomas’ disclosures and the watchdog’s report were the focal points of coverage.

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