The Center for Renewing America, a conservative think tank, has recently filed an ethics complaint against Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. The crux of the complaint centers on allegations that Justice Jackson failed to provide comprehensive disclosure of her husband's income and the sources of private funding for a celebratory event at the Library of Congress marking her investiture.
According to the complaint, Justice Jackson may have breached federal law, potentially leading to recusal issues. The allegations specifically point to a lack of disclosure regarding her husband's consulting income and the omission of details about private contributions that supported the Library of Congress event in her honor.
Disclosure Form Discrepancies
Russell Vought, President of the think tank, stated, "Justice Jackson’s amended disclosure form for 2020, submitted during her Supreme Court nomination, reveals that some of her prior reports inadvertently left out her husband’s income derived from consulting on medical malpractice cases." This statement raises questions about the completeness of her financial disclosures and suggests a possible willful omission of her husband’s income details.
Vought emphasized that federal law mandates judicial officers to report any spousal income exceeding $1,000. However, he noted discrepancies in Jackson's reporting, particularly concerning her husband's medical malpractice consulting work.
"After disclosing two sources of this income in 2011, Justice Jackson failed to disclose any such source in subsequent years, despite continued earnings," Vought explained. He further alleged that Justice Jackson might be attempting to categorize her husband’s consulting work under the ‘self-employment’ exception to avoid full disclosure of income sources.
"Such a willful refusal to disclose significant income on multiple reports undermines the very essence of ethics laws and raises concerns about her impartiality in discharging her duties," Vought argued. Additionally, Vought highlighted that while Justice Jackson reported other post-investiture gifts, including a $1,200 floral arrangement and designer clothes valued at $6,580 from Vogue Magazine, she failed to disclose the private donations funding the Library of Congress event.
This omission, he suggests, points to a selective awareness of disclosure requirements. As these allegations unfold, they cast a spotlight on the importance of transparency and adherence to ethical standards in the highest judicial office. Justice Jackson's response to these claims will be closely scrutinized as the situation develops.