A recent investigation conducted by The New York Times has brought to light disturbing findings regarding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his alleged acceptance of undisclosed gifts from wealthy individuals through his association with the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.
The investigation sheds light on Thomas’s association with with a select group of predominantly affluent conservatives, granting him access to a world of opulent privileges.
According to The Times, shortly after assuming his position on the bench in 1991, Thomas became a member of the Horatio Alger Association. Through this affiliation, he is said to have established connections with influential conservative figures who bestowed upon him lavish gifts, such as vacation retreats and exclusive tickets to sporting events. Moreover, Thomas allegedly received invitations to extravagant parties hosted by his affluent acquaintances.
The investigation discovered that Thomas failed to disclose numerous gifts and trips he had received over the past two decades, as reported by The Times.
One prominent individual mentioned in the investigation is David Sokol, an investor and former executive at Berkshire Hathaway. Sokol reportedly hosted Thomas and his wife, Ginny, at his Montana ranch and Florida property. The Times noted that Sokol, along with other members of the Horatio Alger Association, also contributed to the funding of an HBO film focused on Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against Thomas. Additionally, Thomas has been a featured speaker at the association’s annual inaugural reception and ceremony, which he has hosted at the Supreme Court, as stated in the investigation.
According to the Horatio Alger Association’s website, Thomas holds an honorary position on its board of directors. The Hill has reached out to the association for comment, but no response has been provided as of yet. Similarly, Thomas declined to address the detailed questions posed to him by The Times.
These revelations come in the wake of previous criticism aimed at Thomas following a ProPublica report that exposed his acceptance of numerous luxury trips from GOP megadonor Harlan Crow without disclosing them on financial disclosure forms. Subsequently, another ProPublica report revealed that Thomas also failed to disclose a real estate transaction he conducted with Crow in 2014.
When confronted about the luxury trips, Thomas claimed he was “advised” that they did not require disclosure due to the fact that they were extended as “personal hospitality” from a “close, personal” friend. However, new regulations implemented earlier this year make it clear that all federal justices, including those serving on the Supreme Court, are obligated to disclose gifts and complimentary stays at commercial properties. Nevertheless, an exception is made for gifts of a nonbusiness nature, including those related to “personal hospitality,” such as food, lodging, or entertainment.
The new revelation underscores the need for transparency and accountability within the judiciary, as the public places its trust in the integrity of the Supreme Court and its justices.