Pop the popcorn, folks, because if you thought Supreme Court justices were above the fray, Clarence Thomas is here with a plot twist. In what might be one of the juiciest revelations about a Supreme Court Justice, reports show that Thomas has enjoyed not one, not two, but a whopping 38 lavish vacations courtesy of his billionaire buddies.
Let’s pause and let that sink in: 38 vacations, and 26 PRIVATE jet flights. And these aren’t just any billionaires – these are individuals wielding enormous influence and power. While the average millennial struggles to afford rent, health care, and student loan payments, it seems Justice Thomas has been jet-setting around the globe, funded by his wealthy friends. The problem? He apparently didn’t think it necessary to disclose many of these oh-so-generous gifts. Last time we checked, that’s not just unethical—it’s likely illegal.
Jeremy Fogel, a former federal judge, echoed the shock that many of us are feeling, stating that such extravagance is likely “unprecedented” in judicial history. So why does this matter? It’s more than just about jealousy over a few nice vacations. This is a justice who’s been part of some of the most conservative decisions in a very right-leaning Supreme Court. His decisions and those of his court have had life-altering effects on everyday people, from reproductive rights to voting rights.
Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pennsylvania) couldn’t have put it better when she quipped, “If a new corruption scandal is coming to light about you every single day of the week that ends in the word ‘day,’ you probably shouldn’t be a Supreme Court justice with a lifetime appointment that has no code of conduct.”
This isn’t even the first time Thomas has been in hot water. Prior to these revelations, there were already voices like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) calling for his resignation due to his involvement (or lack of recusal) in cases related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The connection? His wife, Ginni Thomas, allegedly played a role in organizing that very attack.
And what’s the response been from the justice himself? A breezy wave-off. He claims he “was advised” not to report the gifts. By whom, exactly? And why are so many ethics experts saying otherwise?
Sadly, while these revelations have left many of us slack-jawed, resignation or impeachment for Thomas seems like a distant dream. Many Republicans seem perfectly comfortable with the status quo, possibly relishing the fact that a potentially compromised judge is delivering them favorable verdicts.
The question isn’t just about Thomas’s vacations or who paid for them. It’s about the integrity of one of the highest courts in the land. Millennials and young Americans deserve a justice system that is transparent, accountable, and devoid of such blatant conflicts of interest. If the recent scandals are any indication, it’s high time for some genuine introspection and reform.