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The Committee on Financial Disclosures in the Judicial Conference has opened an ethics investigation into Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson due to an alleged failure to include her husband in financial disclosures.
Fox News reported exclusively that the Center for Renewing America, a conservative organization, “last month filed a complaint with the Judicial Conference – the governing body of federal courts – alleging that Jackson ‘willfully failed to disclose’ required information about her husband’s malpractice consulting income for more than a decade.”
The outlet noted that the organization was notified on Dec. 21 that its complaint had been officially referred to the Financial Disclosers Committee.
“We are hopeful that the Judicial Conference takes a long, hard look at the ethics concerns surrounding Justice Jackson and ensures there is not a double standard for justices,” Russ Vought, a former senior Trump administration official and president of CRA, said in a statement to Fox News.
“While the Left has made it a sport to attack the character of conservative Supreme Court justices, they’ve turned a blind eye to actual indiscretions and appearances of corruption actively happening,” he added.
Fox News continued:
CRA’s letter suggests that the Judicial Conference should ultimately refer Jackson’s possible ethics violations to Attorney General Merrick Garland for investigation and possible civil enforcement.
The letter noted that federal judges are legally required to disclose the “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 be reported.”
As part of her nomination process for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Jackson revealed the identities of two legal medical malpractice consulting clients who had compensated her husband, Dr. Patrick Jackson, with over $1,000 in 2011, as outlined in the letter.
But in subsequent filings, Jackson “repeatedly failed to disclose that her husband received income from medical malpractice consulting fees,” the letter said.
“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 letter went on.
Vought noted in the letter that “Jackson has not even attempted to list the years for which her previously filed disclosures omitted her husband’s consulting income. 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.”
Vought, who led the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under President Trump, went on to argue that Dr. Jackson’s income didn’t qualify under the “self-employment” exception. He said that the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA) mandates Justice Jackson to identify the “source of items of earned income earned by a spouse from any person which exceeds $1,000.”
The former OMB chief contended that Jackson’s awareness of the requirements in 2012, as demonstrated by her detailed listing of income sources in her initial disclosure filing but not in subsequent filings, coupled with her admission of omitting some of her husband’s income, constitutes a “willful” violation of the law, Fox News noted.
The letter from CRA coincides with criticism from left-wing advocacy groups and Democratic members of Congress directed at conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito for failing to disclose vacations paid for by friends who are also Republican donors.
Both justices have consistently asserted that they have adhered to all ethics requirements.
In November, the Supreme Court issued a revised “Code of Conduct” in response to increased scrutiny, particularly from Senate Judiciary Democrats who had been advocating for new ethics regulations for the highest court.