Neil Gorsuch Has Joined the Supreme Court Ethics Scandal Party
Clarence Thomas is not alone. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has also benefitted financially from parties with an interest in the high court’s business while neglecting to disclose the relationship, growing concerns over corruption within the institution.
Politico reported on Tuesday that Gorsuch had been trying to sell a piece of land in Colorado for nearly two years before Brian Duffy — the CEO of Greenberg Traurig, a law firm whose cases often find their way before the Supreme Court — bought it on April 16, 2017.
The exact date is significant. It was only nine days after Gorsuch was confirmed.
Gorsuch noted on federal disclosure forms that he made between $250,001 and $500,000 on the sale. The forms included a space where Gorsuch could have disclosed the identity of the purchaser, but he left it blank. Politico notes that Greenberg Traurig has since had 22 cases come before the court, and that in the 12 instances in which Gorsuch’s opinion was recorded, he sided with his benefactor’s firm on eight of them — including one that damaged the Clean Air Act.
The revelation comes a day after Harlan Crow — the billionaire conservative megadonor who has been treating Clarence Thomas to lavish gifts for decades — did indeed have business before the Supreme Court. Bloomberg reported on Monday that Trammell Crow Residential Co. had a case before the court in 2005, and that there’s no indication Thomas recused himself. Thomas said earlier this month that he didn’t report the gifts, which included yacht trips and stays at a private resort, because Crow didn’t have business before the court. (Crow says he was not involved in the Trammell Crow Residential Co. case.)
Thomas’ relationship with Crow — which also involves Crow buying $133,000 of real estate from Thomas’ family — has led Democrats to push for more oversight of the Supreme Court. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has the committee “will act” in response to the revelations about Thomas, while progressive lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have called for his impeachment. “I think this has gone far, far beyond any sort of acceptable standard in any democracy, let alone in American democracy,” she said recently.