Gifts for Justices Explained in 3 Charts

This reads like a Christmas tree where people or children get to pull a tag off the tree and whatever it states is your gift. Except this tree is the tree that keeps on giving all year.

There are three charts in this Newsweek article which pictorially details the numbers of gifts and value of them to each Justice. At the end of this article is a link to an XCELL Spread Sheet which will give you the numbers and dollars associated with each justice. I do not have to explain to you who is the number 1 recipient. Look at the amount. Then begin to wonder why no other Justice or Chief Justice said a word.


Supreme Court: Gifts for Justices Explained in 3 Charts

by Joe Edwards


A view of the U.S. Supreme Court at sunset. Fix the Court data suggests that over the last two decades, SCOTUS justices have accepted 445 gifts valued at $4,780,720. DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES

U.S. Supreme Court justices have raked in millions of dollars worth in gifts over the last two decades, according to a report compiled by a court watchdog. The unofficial list was created by Fix the Courta self-described nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates for greater openness and accountability in the federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The data was compiled using official disclosure reports as well as reporting from a number of media outlets which identified gifts received by justices between January 2004 and December 2023.

Newsweek has contacted the U.S. Supreme Court for comment.

Fix the Court’s” executive director Gabe Roth said . . .

“Supreme court justices should not be expecting gifts, let alone the hundreds of freebies worth millions of dollars they’ve received over the years.

Public servants who make four times the median local salary, and who can make millions writing books on any topic they like, can afford to pay for their own vacations, vehicles, hunting excursions and club memberships — to say nothing of the influence the gift-givers are buying with their ‘generosity.’

Adding . . .

“The ethics crisis at the Court won’t begin to abate until justices adopt stricter gift acceptance rules.”

Number of Gifts

According to Fix the Court’s analysis, Justice Clarence Thomas received the largest portion of gifts, identifying 193 for the George H.W. Bush appointee who has served since 1991.

Second was the late Sandra Day O’Connor with 73, who died last year. O’Connor was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court, by then President Ronald Reagan, and served from 1981 to 2006.

The late Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were third and fourth with 67 and 61 identified gifts respectively. Scalia served 29 years on the court, and Ginsburg 27.

David Souter, who spent 18 years on the court before he retired in 2009, and Brett Kavanaugh received just one gift, according to the findings.

Value of Gifts

Thomas led here as well, with likely gifts totaling $4,042,286.

Justice Samuel Alito is alleged in the findings to have received just over $170,000 worth of gifts.

Disclosed vs Undisclosed Gifts

The Supreme Court justices with the lowest total value of gifts were Kavanaugh, Souter and Amy Coney Barrett, with $100, $349, and $500 respectively.

The data also highlighted the stark contrast in officially declared gifts and those that were not.

According to Fix the Court, Thomas was the worst offender on this front. The watchdog believed he openly disclosed just 8.5 percent of all gifts he received.

Kavanaugh and Barret disclosed none of their gifts, however, the report estimates the pair only received $600 worth of gifts between them.

Souter and the late John Paul Stevens were the only two SCOTUS justices to disclose 100 percent of their gifts.

Justices must report gifts over a certain amount, which is adjusted periodically for inflation, in a yearly report to be reviewed by the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Financial Disclosure. Recent guidelines put this threshold at $415.

However, personal hospitality provided at a private residence by an individual is generally exempt from this requirement.

Supreme Court justices have come under fire over the controversy surrounding gifts and who supplies them.

A petition to impeach Alito over accepting gifts from billionaire Paul Singer has received over 75,000 signatures. The Move On petition has been active for almost a year.

In 2023 the Supreme Court adopted an ethics code following criticism relating to gifts, fueled in part by reporting from outlets such as ProPublica, centered around gifts from a billionaire Republican to Thomas.

Alito has also rejected calls to recuse himself from cases relating to the 2020 elections following reports that his wife Martha-Ann Alito displayed an upside-down flag outside their home shortly after the January 6 Capitol riot, a symbol associated with the “Stop the Steal” campaign which aimed to overturn President Joe Biden‘s victory.

Alito said he was unaware of the connection between the inverted flag and the stop the steal movement.

“I recall that my wife did fly that flag for some period of time, but I do not remember how long it flew. And what is most relevant here is I had no involvement in the decision to fly that flag,” he wrote in a letter responding to the criticism.

Official financial disclosures from the justices are expected to be reported on Friday. 

“A Staggering Tally: Supreme Court Justices Accepted Hundreds of Gifts Worth Millions of Dollars,” Fix the Court

“Supreme Court justices’ gifts,” – Google Sheets