February 14, 2011- Justice Clarence Thomas has been required since he joined U.S. Supreme Court in 1991 to disclose the income of his wife—something he failed to do until a liberal advocacy group blew the whistle on his inaction. Thomas has insisted the reporting failure was merely “a misunderstanding of filing instructions.” But Common Cause and other organizations aren’t buying the excuse.
Common Cause President Bob Edgar said it was “difficult to believe” and “implausible” that Thomas, a 20-year member of the high court, didn’t know the law pertaining to disclosure.
ProtectOurElections.org accused Thomas of receiving special treatment from the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Committee on Financial Disclosure by allowing him to file two decades worth of amendments to cover up for his breaking the law.
From 2003 to 2009, Thomas did not report more than $680,000 in income that his wife, Virginia Thomas, earned from working for The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. He also did not reveal, until now, her earnings with the foundation during the period 1998-2003.
Thomas’ filing errors could result in a felony conviction if he were to be brought up on charges, according to ProtectOurElections.org.
As far back as 1989, Thomas marked the “NONE” box for his spouse’s non-investment income on his judicial financial disclosure forms. On January 21, 2011, he filed amendments admitting that his disclosure forms were wrong.