Justice Faces Ethics Complaint
Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is facing an ethics complaint for "willfully" omitting mandatory income disclosures while serving on the federal bench. The complaint was filed by the Center For Renewing America, a think tank led by former Trump official Russ Vought.
The letter sent to the Judicial Conference alleges that Justice Jackson "willfully failed to disclose" information about her husband's income from medical malpractice consulting for more than a decade. This omission was first noticed during her nomination process for the U.S. District Court, where she disclosed two clients who paid her husband more than $1,000.
However, subsequent follow-up disclosures did not include this information, and Justice Jackson's amended disclosure form for 2020 acknowledges that "some" of her previously filed reports omitted her husband's consulting income.
The letter highlights that Justice Jackson has not stated which years her disclosures omitted her husband's income, stating only that "some" did. This raises concerns about the potential conflicts of interest and recusal issues that may arise from her failure to disclose this information.
Furthermore, the letter also raises a separate concern regarding Justice Jackson's potential failure to disclose the funding sources for her investiture celebration at the Library of Congress. This event, which took place after her appointment to the Supreme Court, featured performances by celebrities and musical groups. The letter notes that under the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA), any gift received over $415 must be disclosed, but it is unclear if Justice Jackson disclosed this information.
The letter from the Center For Renewing America calls on the Judicial Conference to refer these violations to Attorney General Merrick Garland for further investigation. It asserts that "given the need to ensure the equal application of the law," prompt attention to these allegations is of "paramount public importance."
The allegations against Justice Jackson are serious and could potentially raise questions about her impartiality and honesty as a Supreme Court Justice. It is crucial for these violations to be thoroughly investigated and for appropriate actions to be taken if any wrongdoing is found.
The news of the ethics complaint comes as a blow to Justice Jackson, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Biden last year. Her confirmation was seen as a significant victory for diversity and representation on the Court, as she is the only current Black woman serving as a justice.
However, these allegations may tarnish her reputation and raise doubts about her ability to serve on the nation's highest court. It remains to be seen how the Judicial Conference will respond to the letter from the Center For Renewing America and whether Attorney General Garland will launch an investigation into these violations.