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U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Thomas Cites ‘Misunderstanding of the Filing Instructions’ for Disclosure Error

Posted Jan 25, 2011 7:16 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Justice Clarence Thomas has filed amended financial disclosure statements after a liberal watchdog group claimed he failed to report more than $686,000 in income his wife earned while working for the Heritage Foundation.

Thomas said his wife’s employment was “inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions,” the New York Times reports. The forms confirmed that Virginia “Ginni” Thomas worked for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, but did not list the amount earned. The report asks for the source of money earned by judicial spouses, but not the amount, the Associated Press reports.

The group Common Cause had claimed Virginia Thomas was paid $686,589 between 2003 and 2007, based on its analysis of the Heritage Foundation’s tax records.

Common Cause has also criticized Justices Thomas and Antonin Scalia for appearing at a political retreat organized by conservative financier Charles Koch. The justices issued a statement last week saying the Federalist Society had paid their expenses.

Related coverage:

Wall Street Journal (sub. req.): “Common Cause v. Scalia and Thomas”

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