-By David Edwards
July 7, 2011- A non-partisan watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in an attempt to determine whether conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas improperly disclosed the use of private jets and a yacht.
Common Cause's FOIA request (PDF) to the U.S. Marshals Service encompasses travel on seven dates between 2007 and 2010.
"The request is aimed at determining whether Justice Thomas traveled on a plane owned by developer and political activist Harlan Crow on seven occasions over the past four years, and if so, whether those trips were properly disclosed," the group said in a statement.
A New York Times investigation last month raised ethics questions about the justice's relationship with Dallas real estate magnate Harlan Crow.
In 2004, Thomas was heavily scrutinized after he reported receiving $42,000 in gifts over six years. Since that time, he has not reported another gift.
But travel records obtained by the Times indicated that Thomas had probably used planes and a yacht owned by Crow.