Democratic lawmakers are calling for Justice Clarence Thomas to resign, after it was revealed that he has accepted gifts from billionaires for decades in exchange for access to the Supreme Court.
A new ProPublica report found that Thomas has happily accepted—and did not disclose—at least 38 luxury vacations from four different billionaires: Harlan Crow, David Sokol, H. Wayne Huizenga, and Paul Novelly. In return, Thomas hosts an annual fundraiser at the Supreme Court for an exclusive society to which they all belong. Experts have called Thomas’s behavior an “abuse of office” and “the height of hypocrisy.”
Bill Pascrell Jr. called Thomas “corrupt as hell,” and Gerry Connolly said Thomas has “repeatedly brought dishonor and ethical malpractice to our highest Court.” Robert Garcia and Hank Johnson also called for Thomas to resign.
They join nine other Democratic representatives and two Democratic senators who have been calling for Thomas to either step down or be impeached. Representatives Alma Adams, Don Beyer, Cori Bush, Chuy Garcia, Ro Khanna, Summer Lee, Ilhan Omar, and Nydia Velazquez, as well as Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey began clamoring for Thomas to leave the court after the news of his relationship with Crow first broke in the April.
Johnson and Pascrell also called for Thomas’s resignation at the time. So did Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but she had already been demanding Thomas resign for more than a year by then, according to The New Republic’s Pablo Manríquez.
Some of the gifts Thomas has accepted from his billionaire friends include a trip on Sokol’s private jet to his private ranch in Wyoming (valued in the low eight figures), a deep-sea fishing trip in the Caribbean on one of Novelly’s yachts, and a standing invitation to Huizenga’s members-only golf club. Huizenga sold the club in 2010, and it currently has a $150,000 initiation fee.
Thomas was already under fire for failing to report the many gifts he received from Crow, which include island-hopping yacht vacations and tuition for Thomas’s nephew. The Nazi memorabilia collector Crow also bought and renovated a Thomas family property, where Thomas’s mother still lives.