Supreme Court Justices Disclose Financial Ties in Annual Filing

The filings by the SCOTUS are required by the Ethics and Government Act of 1978 that was enacted to shine a light on governmental corruption after the scandals of the Nixon administration. The act created mandatory disclosures of financial and employment history of public officials and their immediate families. It also created restrictions on lobbying efforts by public officials after leaving public office. Lastly, it created the U.S. Office of Independent Counsel, tasked with investigating government officials.

Newly heightened scrutiny surrounding the nation’s highest court stems from an expose by ProPublica focusing on previously unreported financial ties that Justice Thomas has with political benefactors in the Republican party. The following paragraphs provide some of the notable disclosed and undisclosed financial information from the individual filings.

Justice Clarence Thomas disclosed trips to Bali in Indonesia and the Bohemian Groove in California that were paid for by billionaire GOP megadonor Harlan Crow. He also acknowledged that he had inadvertently omitted reimbursement for food and lodging expenses while traveling during July of 2019. He reported receiving photo albums worth $2,000 as a gift from Terry Giroux of the Horatio Alger Association. No disclosures were made regarding the hotel stays in Bali and California, private jet transportation, and luxury yacht sails, all of which also have ties to Crow.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson reported over $12,500 of art that was donated to decorate her chambers as well as four Beyonce concert tickets worth around $3,800. She also has filed an advanced payment of $893,750 from Penguin Random House for her memoir that is being published in September 2024.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who also has a legal memoir being published this year, reported a $340,000 advance from Regenery Publishing. He also reported receiving over $10,000 for teaching law. No gifts were reported by Justice Kavanaugh.

Justices Amy Coney Barrett reported more than $10,000 in teaching income at law schools. No gifts were reported by Justice Barrett.

Justice Neil Gorsuch reported $250,000 in royalties for his book deal from Harper Collins. He also reported over $10,000 for teaching at law schools. No gifts were reported by Justice Gorsuch.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor reported an $86,783 payment from Penguin for book publishing. She also reported earning $1,879 for a voice performance in the animated PBS television series “Alma’s Way.” No gifts were reported by Justice Sotomayor.

Justice Elena Kagan reported a trip to South Bend to give a speech at Notre Dame University that included transportation, food, and and hotel expenses. No gifts were reported by Justice Kagan.

Chief Justice John Roberts did not list any gifts, additional income, or travel reimbursements.

Justice Samuel Alito filed for a 90 day extension to submit his financial report.