ProPublica: Clarence Thomas secretly attended donor events for libertarian political organization


ProPublica published a report Friday that revealed details about US Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas’s attendance at the Koch Network annual winter donor summit held in California in 2018. The report says that Thomas was at an event attended by Koch donors who, “

typically, have to give at lease $100,000 per year.” The report states that those who donate millions of dollars receive special treatment including dinners with Charles Koch, and other high-profile guests. Thomas arrived in a private plane, which was not included in his annual financial statement. The report states that a Koch representative said the network didn’t pay for the flight. There are also civil and criminal sanctions for falsifying or not filing a report. Canon 4 of Code of Conduct for US judges advises federal judge not to engage in “extrajudicial activity that detracts from the dignity of a judge’s office or interferes with the performance of a judge’s duties, which may reflect negatively on the judge’s impartiality and lead to frequent disqualification.” However, the code isn’t mandatory for US Supreme Court Justices. That said, it is customary for them to adhere to it in practice.

Libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch founded the Koch network together. The report states that the network is a “overlapping set of nonprofits that have lobbied libertarian policy.” Libertarians generally believe “that most (if not all) of the claims to special authority made by the various governments around the world are unjustifiable.”

This is not the first controversy surrounding Thomas. In August, ProPublica

released another report revealing details about Thomas’ history of accepting lavish gifts while serving as a US Supreme Court justice. Congress, in response to the controversies surrounding Thomas’ past of accepting lavish gifts while serving as a US Supreme Court justice, has introduced a bill proposing ethics reforms for US Supreme Court.