Interviews and newly unearthed documents by ProPublica reveal that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, facing financial strain, privately pushed for a higher salary and to allow Supreme Court justices to take speaking fees.
Congress never lifted the ban on speaking fees or
gave the justices a major raise. But in the years that followed, as ProPublica
has reported, Thomas accepted a
stream of gifts from friends and acquaintances that appears to be
unparalleled in the modern history of the Supreme Court. Some defrayed living
expenses large and small — private school tuition, vehicle batteries,
gifts from a coterie of ultrarich men supplemented his lifestyle, such
as free international vacations on the private jet and superyacht of Dallas
real estate billionaire Harlan Crow.
Precisely what led so many people to offer Thomas
money and other gifts remains an open question. There’s no evidence the justice
ever raised the specter of resigning with Crow or his other wealthy
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