WASHINGTON, DC – Following breaking news of undisclosed luxury gifts and travel from billionaire Republican megadonor Harlan Crow to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Thomas today released a statement arguing that the gifts were “not reportable” as Crow “does not have business before the Court.” That argument is directly refuted by the fact that for three decades, Crow has served on the Board of Trustees of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) — which has published and taken credit for multiple amicus briefs filed with the Supreme Court by the group’s president and scholars.
First Justice Thomas hid decades of lavish gifts and travel funded by Harlan Crow, but now he’s outright lying when he says this major conservative donor had no interest in the work of the Supreme Court. The truth is clear: this is an unprecedented story of corruption at the highest levels, and those involved must be held accountable.”
Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig.
Justice Thomas’s statement rests on the argument that “personal hospitality” from friends who do not have business before the Court does not require disclosure — but for decades, Harlan Crow has had business before the very same Court that Thomas serves on. Harlan Crow has been a member of American Enterprise Institute’s Board of Trustees since 1996, five years after Justice Clarence Thomas was first appointed to the Supreme Court. In that time, AEI’s scholars and senior leaders filed numerous briefs with the Court including in Wyeth v. Diana Levine, AT&T Corp. v. Lila T. Gavin, and Davis v. Kentucky Dept. of Revenue, and their annual reports have repeatedly cited their scholars’ “impact” on critical Supreme Court decisions.