Clarence Thomas faces increasing heat over latest undisclosed gift revelations
Washington DC - Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is once again in the spotlight after yet another investigation revealing undisclosed gifts from wealthy conservatives.
Thomas gained access to the wealthy through his acceptance into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans shortly after his Supreme Court confirmation in 1991, according to a New York Times investigation.
Contacts Thomas met through the association, many of whom donate to conservative causes, invited him to vacation at their luxury homes, got him VIP admission to sporting events, and hosted him at parties. Some of those friends even helped fund the marketing of a flattering documentary about the justice after the release of an HBO film on Anita Hill's sexual assault allegations.
David Sokol, a former executive at Berkshire Hathaway, was among the friends who hosted Thomas and his wife at his mansions in Montana and Florida.
The New York Times said Thomas did not report many of the gifts and trips over the last two decades, after a Los Angeles Times investigation in 2004 documented his previous disclosures.
Clarence Thomas' ethics concerns under the spotlight
The New York Times report came after ProPublica earlier this year revealed Thomas had gone on several undisclosed luxury trips at the expense of GOP mega donor Harlan Crow.
Though justices are not required to disclose "personal hospitality" gifts, Thomas' behavior has raised concerns over possible conflicts of interest and sparked renewed calls for high court reform, including a tighter ethics code for justices.
Cover photo: STEFANI REYNOLDS / AFP