Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson hit with ethics complaint for ‘willfully’ omitting income

A new ethics complaint filed against a Supreme Court justice raised concerns about her “willfully” omitting income disclosures while serving in federal court.

“We know this by Justice Jackson’s own admission…”

Monday, the most junior member of the high court, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, became the latest to face an ethics complaint related to income and gifts. Submitted by the president of the Center for Renewing America, Russ Vought, former director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Trump administration, the complaint specifically drew attention to her husband’s consulting fees which had been disclosed on past forms.

Vought alleged the judge “repeatedly failed to disclose that her husband received income from medical malpractice consulting fees.”

“We know this by Justice Jackson’s own admission in her amended disclosure form for 2020, filed when she was nominated to the Supreme Court, that ‘some of my previously filed reports inadvertently omitted’ her husband’s income from ‘consulting on medical malpractice cases,'” the complaint first reported by Fox News detailed.

In the letter submitted to Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf, Judicial Conference Secretary for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, the think tank president specified that federal judges are required to disclose “source of items of earned income earned by a spouse from any person which exceed $1,000…except…if the spouse is self-employed in business or a profession, only the nature of such business or profession needs to be reported.”

The letter specified that when nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the judge had disclosed clients of her husband, Dr. Patrick Jackson, who had paid him form than $1,000 each for the year 2011.

“Jackson has not even attempted to list the years for which her previously filed disclosures omitted her husband’s consulting income,” continued the complaint. “Instead, in her admission of omissions on her 2020 amended disclosure form (filed in 2022), Justice Jackson provided only the vague statement that ‘some’ of those past disclosures contained material omissions.”

While the left has leveled frequent attacks against Justice Clarence Thomas, income related concerns had also been brought up against Justice Sonia Sotomayor earlier in the year of the considerable rise in her net worth since being appointed to the Supreme Court.

“Supreme Court staffers have been deeply involved in organizing speaking engagements intended to sell books,” the Associated Press reported at the time regarding the source of much of Sotomayor’s increased wealth. “That is conduct prohibited for members of Congress and the executive branch, who are barred under ethics rules from using government resources, including staff, for personal financial gain.”

Additionally for Jackson, the complaint pointed to the lavish party that was thrown in her honor in 2022 upon her appointment, of which Vought asserted the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA) also required her to report gifts “received over $415.”

Gifts were defined as “a payment, advance, forbearance, rendering, or deposit of money, or [anything] of value.”

As Jackson had disclosed flowers from media mogul Oprah Winfrey valued at $1,200 and a $6,580 jacket warn during a Vogue photo shoot, the complaint asserted she “cannot claim ignorance of EIGA’s gift disclosure requirements, and there is no serious argument that this ‘massive event featuring performances by several musicians and groups’ celebrating her investiture is not a ‘thing of value.'”

“By doing so,” the complaint concluded of failed disclosures, “Justice Jackson has shielded potential conflicts of interest from public scrutiny and undermined the ability of the public, outside watchdog groups, and parties to scrutinize her recusal decisions. Given the risk for these potentially willful omissions to create conflicts of interest and recusal issues, and the need to ensure equal application of the law, the Conference should refer Justice Jackson to the Attorney General for her failure to disclose her husband’s consulting income and open an investigation into the potential private funding of her investiture celebration.”

Kevin Haggerty


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