For more than two decades, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas enjoyed luxury trips on private jets and yachts to exotic locales thanks to the largess of his longtime travel companion, the Republican mega donor Harlan Crow, according to a ProPublica report. New reporting from the nonprofit found that Crow also bankrolled the private school education of Thomas’ grandnephew, who the Thomases had been raising as a son—a detail that a friend of the justice acknowledged as well.
The trips, which include most recently “nine days of island-hopping in a volcanic archipelago on a superyacht staffed by a coterie of attendants and a private chef,” and the tuition payments were not disclosed in the justice’s financial disclosure reports—a potential violation of federal law, ProPublica reports.
Beyond any legal implications, the relationship between Thomas and Crow touches on a host of ethical concerns. Does Thomas’ alleged conduct rise to the level of impeachability, as some Democrats are suggesting? Impeachment, a political tool that relies on a majority consensus in the U.S. House of Representatives and a trial in the Senate, is the only mechanism for expelling justices.