On Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' financial disclosure report for 2022 was released to the public. Attorney for Justice Thomas Elliot Berke summarized: "I am confident there has been no willful ethics transgression, and any prior reporting errors were strictly inadvertent."
Berke's statement catalogues the harassment Justice Thomas has been subjected to by left-wing groups obsessed delegitimizing the Court which is now more ideologically conservative than it has been in decades:
No Justice, Justice Thomas included, should be subjected to such political blood sport. It is painfully obvious that these attacks are motivated by hatred for his judicial philosophy, not by any real belief in any ethical lapses.
One of the main lines of attack from the Left is Justice Thomas' acceptance of private travel from friend Harlan Crow who happens to be wealthy. The disclosure report lays out a variety of acceptable reasons for accepting the private travel including safety issues stemming from the Dobbs opinion leak:
Because of the increased security risk following the Dobbs opinion leak, the May flights were by private plane for official travel as filer’s security detail recommended noncommercial travel whenever possible.
The report also brought further clarity to questions about Crow's purchase of the home of Justice Thomas' mother. National Review explained:
The filing also addresses a 2014 real estate transaction involving three properties in Savannah, Ga., that Thomas inherited with his mother and brother in 1984. In 2014, Crow purchased the properties for $133,000 with the intent to preserve the home Thomas’s mother was living in for a possible museum. Thomas’s attorney said Crow did not know Thomas had a one-third interest in the property when he raised the idea of purchasing it.
The deal also included the purchase of other homes in the area as part of a “mini urban renewal project.” Crow also provided a life estate to Thomas’s mother to continue to live in the home for the rest of her life without rent.
Thomas’s mother’s home was never included on the justice’s financial-disclosure reports because it was never rented or held for investment. The other two properties were included on previous reports because they were rented and generated a small income. In 2009, the last year the properties were included on Thomas’s reports, they generated just $1,200 in gross rents, which meant just $400 in income for Thomas.
Neither property generated income after 2009, at which point Thomas says he was advised by Supreme Court officers and the Financial Disclosure Committee staff to remove these properties from future disclosure reports. Both properties became dilapidated and were ultimately torn down by the city.
So now that Justice Thomas has gone above and beyond to explain his actions in question, the liberal Justices will do the same, right? Unlikely. Fox News noted:
Democrats have remained silent throughout the years when reports emerged on Supreme Court justices regarding their possible conflicts, including closeness to Democratic mega-donors, omitting trips and reimbursements, failing to recuse themselves from cases concerning companies in which they had financial stakes and matters involving issues they had worked on in the past.
As RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen tweeted, Berke's statement on behalf of Justice Thomas is a must-read, and "[t]he Left’s attacks on Justice Thomas have nothing to do with 'ethics' and everything to do with an effort to intimidate the Court."
This is a must read for those interested in the independence of the Judiciary. The Left’s attacks on Justice Thomas have nothing to do with “ethics” and everything to do with an effort to intimidate the Court. Shame on them. https://t.co/f0Y6HZMeuE— Michael Thielen (@MB_Thielen) August 31, 2023