CLC Seeks Referral of Justice Thomas to DOJ for Violations


Washington, D.C. – This week, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) submitted a letter to the committee of federal judges with authority to refer Justice Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Attorney General for potential criminal and civil penalties related to violating the Ethics in Government Act.  

In its letter to the Judicial Conference, CLC asserts that there is reasonable cause to believe that Justice Thomas intentionally disregarded the requirement to report gifts of free private plane and yacht travel.  

Justice Thomas’ public statement did not deny an investigative report from ProPublica which revealed that he received expensive trips from an individual for  20 years, putting the reputation and ethical standing of the Supreme Court on the line. 

Kedric Payne, Vice President, General Counsel and Senior Director for Ethics at Campaign Legal Center and former Deputy Chief Counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics, issued the following statement: 

“The public has a right to know that those serving as members of the highest court of the land are doing so in good faith for all, not just a select few. With public trust in the Supreme Court as an institution at an all-time low, the high court has a duty to make addressing its latest ethical woes a priority.  

Other federal justices follow disclosure rules outlined by the Ethics in Government Act on a regular basis, and a Supreme Court justice should be no exception. Inaction from the Judicial Conference could serve to normalize such violations across the judiciary and potentially obscure who is influencing judges tasked with making impartial decisions that uphold the rule of law.”