Thomas, Gorsuch Hit With New Disclosure Issues

Clarence Thomas reportedly ruled in case of interest to his billionaire friend Harlan Crow
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2023 11:32 AM CDT
Report: Thomas Ruled in Case of Interest to Billionaire Friend
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a new group portrait at the Supreme Court Building in Washington on Oct. 7.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The controversy surrounding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas continues to grow, with Bloomberg reporting that his friend Harlan Crow had an interest in a case brought before the court, despite Thomas' assurances that he didn't think he needed to report pricey vacations paid for by the billionaire because Thomas never ruled on a case linked to him. This coincides with a similar story about fellow Justice Neil Gorsuch, who, according to Politico, failed to report a house sale to the head of a law firm that had "numerous cases before the court," further exposing "the weakness of the court's disclosure procedures." More:

  • According to Bloomberg, "the Crow family had a non-controlling interest" in Trammell Crow Residential Co. in January 2005, when the Supreme Court issued a one-sentence order, declining to hear an appeal from an architecture firm that demanded more than $25 million from the company "for allegedly misusing copyrighted building designs." Bloomberg notes "there were no noted recusals—indicating that Thomas participated—and no noted dissents." In a statement, Crow claims "Trammell Crow Residential operated completely independently of Crow Holdings with a separate management team and its own independent operations" and that "neither Harlan Crow nor Crow Holdings had knowledge of or involvement in this case."

  • According to Politico, Brian Duffy, CEO of Greenberg Traurig, "one of the nation's biggest law firms," offered to buy a 40-acre property Gorsuch co-owned in Colorado just nine days after Gorsuch's 2017 appointment to the court was confirmed by the Senate. Gorsuch reported making between $250,001 and $500,000 from the $1.825 million sale, which closed a month later but didn't reveal the buyer. According to Politico, "Greenberg Traurig has been involved in at least 22 cases before or presented to the court" since then, including "cases in which Greenberg either filed amicus briefs or represented parties." The justice voted 8-4 in favor of the law firm in the 12 cases where his opinion is recorded. Duffy counters that he's never met or spoken to Gorsuch.
(More US Supreme Court stories.)

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