Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has disclosed for the first time visits to Bali and to a private club in California in 2019 paid for by his friend and benefactor, Texas billionaire Harlan Crow, according to financial disclosures released Friday for eight of the nine justices.

The required annual reports, covering activity in 2023, also show three justices – Brett M. Kavanaugh, Neil M. Gorsuch and Ketanji Brown Jackson – received six-figure book payments.

Supreme Court Finances

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas in 2022.  J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press, file

Jackson also accepted four tickets worth nearly $4,000 from Beyoncé to one of her concerts, and two pieces of art worth $12,500 to display in her chambers.

“Justice Jackson is Crazy in Love with Beyoncé’s music. Who isn’t?” said court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor reported a star turn as a cartoon character on the PBS children’s show “Alma’s Way,” an animated series about a Puerto Rican girl and her family from the Bronx. The justice was paid about $1,900 for voice work on one episode in which she played herself.

The reports show several justices earning additional income from teaching at law schools and accepting free travel to speak at events at universities and legal organizations.


Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. was granted an extension to file his report, as he has received in past years.

The off-the-bench activities of Supreme Court justices have been scrutinized and criticized in the last year following reports by ProPublica and other media outlets that Thomas failed for many years to disclose luxury vacations and private jet travel funded by Crow, an influential Republican donor.

Senate Supreme Court Clarence Thomas

Harlan Crow attends a book release reception by The George W. Bush Institute in 2012. LM Otero/Associated Press

In his report last year, Thomas disclosed for the first time Crow’s purchase of three properties from the justice’s family years earlier – transactions also reported by ProPublica and which ethics experts had said should have been reported by the justice when they occurred.

Thomas also disclosed in 2023 free private jet travel he received the previous year, saying a recent clarification to the judiciary’s ethics policies meant such reporting was now required. He continued to say it was not required to report such travel from previous years. Many court transparency and ethics experts say such travel amounts to a gift and should be reported.

Democratic lawmakers and transparency advocates asked the judiciary’s policymaking body last year to review Thomas’s reporting practices, claiming that he might have violated the Ethics in Government Act. At the Judicial Conference meeting in March, the head of the conference said a committee is still examining the allegations from lawmakers.

Thomas’s 2023 report released Friday includes food and lodging in 2019 during trips to Indonesia and the Bohemian Grove club in California, both paid for by Crow and included in ProPublica’s reporting. The justice said he had “inadvertently omitted” the information in past reports and was amending the record “consistent with the review of prior filings.” He did not list travel to and from each place.


Federal ethics law requires top officials from all branches of government, including the justices, to file annual disclosures listing investments, gifts, outside income and the source of spousal income so that the public can assess potential conflicts of interest. Officials from the legislative and executive branch also have more stringent requirements.

As of January, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. earns an annual salary of $312,200, while associate justices each earn $298,500. The judiciary’s rules limit justices to “outside earned income” of no more than about $32,000 per year, which many collect through teaching positions.

But book-writing payments do not count as outside income, allowing justices to enter into lucrative contracts with publishers. At least four justices have forthcoming books about their lives and the law. Reports released Friday show Kavanaugh is at work on a book, for which he has so far received $340,000. A court spokesman confirmed a report in Axios that Kavanaugh is writing a legal memoir.

Jackson received an $893,750 advance from Penguin Random House for her upcoming memoir, “Lovely One.” The book, which is slated to hit shelves later this year, traces “her family’s ascent from segregation to her confirmation on America’s highest court within the span of one generation,” according to the publisher’s site.

Gorsuch received $250,000 in royalties from the publisher HarperCollins, which is slated to release a book he co-wrote with a former law clerk in August. “Over Ruled” will examine the profusion of laws in the United States and the “human toll so much law can carry for ordinary Americans.”

Here are highlights from each justice’s federal disclosure:


• Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.: Roberts reported no reimbursements, gifts or outside positions, in keeping with recent years.

• Justice Clarence Thomas: Thomas reported receiving two photo albums worth $2,000 from Terrence Giroux, the former executive director of the Horatio Alger Society, and Giroux’s wife Barbara. Thomas is an honorary board member of the exclusive nonprofit organization, which gives college scholarships to high school students who embody the “rags to riches” profile found in books written by Gilded Age American author Horatio Alger.

• Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Sotomayor received nearly $87,000 in book payments from Penguin Random House, which has published a number of books she wrote. The Dwight D. Opperman Foundation and Harvard University Law School reimbursed Sotomayor for appearances in Massachusetts and Los Angeles in 2023, according to her disclosure report. The former trip was to present the Justice Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award; the latter to judge a moot court and meet students.

• Justice Elena Kagan: Notre Dame Law School reimbursed Justice Elena Kagan for travel, lodging and meals after she gave a speech there in September. The amount was not listed.

• Justice Neil M. Gorsuch: In addition to the book payments, Gorsuch received nearly $30,000 for teaching at Virginia’s George Mason University. Gorsuch was reimbursed for travel to teach in Lisbon, by George Mason, and for travel to Williamsburg, Va. by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation on which he serves as a board member.

• Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh: Kavanaugh taught at the University of Notre Dame Law School, earning $25,000 as an adjunct professor, according to his report. He also continued coaching girls’ basketball team at Blessed Sacrament. The justice reported two trips paid for by Notre Dame – one for a law school symposium and the other in London for a law school seminar.

• Justice Amy Coney Barrett: Justice Amy Coney Barrett continued to teach at her previous employer, the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she earned about $15,000 as an adjunct professor. Barrett was reimbursed for transportation and meals on five trips, including to participate in Notre Dame’s moot court in February and to lecture at the University of Minnesota in October. She also spoke at events held by Harvard University, Notre Dame and the Saint Thomas More Society, a Catholic legal organization.

• Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson: Jackson was reimbursed for transportation, meals and lodging for three trips. She spoke at Boston University’s commencement ceremony and attended a convention in Indianapolis that was reimbursed by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She also reported traveling to Birmingham, in September to speak at the historic 16th Street Baptist Church and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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