August 10, 2023

Whitehouse Responds to Newest ProPublica Report Detailing Breadth of Secret Billionaire-Funded Gifts to Justice Thomas

Providence, RI – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Courts Subcommittee, today released the following statement after another bombshell report published by ProPublica further exposed the breadth of undisclosed billionaire-funded gifts to Justice Thomas:

“Clearly there is a lot more we still don’t know about the extent to which right-wing billionaires have underwritten Justice Thomas’s billionaire-like lifestyle over the years.  From fossil fuels to hedge funds, these billionaires’ fortunes were made in industries regularly affected by the Court’s rulings.  There may have been a time when the honor system worked well enough for the American people to trust in the ethics of the justices, but that trust has been squandered.  Congress needs to pass my ethics bill and root out the billionaire infiltration of the Roberts Court.”

Whitehouse has long been the Senate’s leading voice for improving transparency and accountability at the Supreme Court.  Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed Whitehouse’s Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act, legislation that would help restore the American public’s sinking trust in the Supreme Court by fortifying regulations regarding judicial conflicts of interest and recusal.  The bill was endorsed by The New York Times editorial board.

The SCERT Act would end the practice of Supreme Court justices judging their own conflicts of interest, require better disclosure and transparency so the public knows when a justice has a connection to a party or amicus before the Court, and require judges to explain their recusal decisions to the public. 

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921