Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, disclosed in her annual filing that she received a congratulatory floral display worth $1,200 from Oprah Winfrey and $6,580 in designer clothing for a magazine photo shoot, Your Content has learned.
The reports, released on Wednesday, shed light on the justices’ finances, but the filing from Justice Clarence Thomas, who has been scrutinized for undisclosed gifts from a Republican donor, was not included. Thomas, along with Justice Samuel Alito, requested an extension of up to 90 days.
Thomas’ acceptance of gifts valued at several hundred thousand dollars from Republican donor Harlan Crow has sparked calls for ethics reform within the highest court of the nation. The reason for the requested extension remains unclear.
As part of the annual disclosure, Justice Sonia Sotomayor revealed that she received nearly $150,000 in royalties for two children’s books and an additional $12,000 for potential stage and video adaptations of her work.
Sotomayor’s books, including her memoir, have garnered her over $3 million in advances and royalties.
Meanwhile, other justices such as Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh reported earning around $30,000 each for teaching assignments at law schools.
Justice Jackson, only two months after joining the court, was featured in a Vogue story highlighting her historic role.
Accompanying photos by Annie Leibovitz showcased Jackson wearing designer clothing, including a blue coat and dark dress by Oscar de la Renta and a brown Aliette jacket.
While the report did not provide details about the size or composition of Winfrey’s floral gift, it further emphasized the heightened scrutiny on ethics within the Supreme Court.
Reports have revealed that Justice Thomas has received undisclosed expensive gifts from Harlan Crow over the years, including international travel and financial support for his family.
Although Supreme Court justices do not have a binding code of ethics, recent reporting guidelines implemented in March now require judges to disclose provided transportation in all instances.
Personal hospitality, such as food, lodging, or entertainment, does not need to be reported if it takes place at the personal residence of the individual or their family.
The court’s ethics have drawn increased attention, leading Chief Justice John Roberts to acknowledge the need for further measures to address ethical concerns.
While the justices have signed a statement of ethics, the idea of adopting a binding code or having one imposed by Congress has been met with resistance, according to ABC News.