Another Supreme Court justice failed to disclose his financial relationship with an individual with business before the court.
Justice Neal Gorsuch had been trying to sell a 40-acre property he co-owned in rural Colorado for nearly two years before Brian Duffy, the chief executive of one of the biggest law firms in the country, put it under contract exactly nine days after Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate in 2017, reported Politico.
"He and his wife closed on the house a month later, paying $1.825 million, according to a deed in the county’s record system," reported Politico correspondent Heidi Przybyla. "Gorsuch, who held a 20 percent stake, reported making between $250,001 and $500,000 from the sale on his federal disclosure forms."
"Gorsuch did not disclose the identity of the purchaser," she added. "That box was left blank."
The firm Duffy leads, Greenberg Traurig, has been involved in at least 22 cases before or presented to the Supreme Court since buying that 3,000-square-foot log home and mountainous land from the justice, although Duffy says he has never argued a case before Gorsuch or met him socially.
“I’ve never spoken to him,” Duffy said. “I’ve never met him.”
Duffy, a longtime Colorado resident, said he had been looking for a property with access to fly-fishing waterways for many years, and he insists he did not know Gorsuch was one of the owners when he made his first offer.
“The fact that he was going to be a Supreme Court justice was absolutely irrelevant to the purchase of that property," Duffy said. "It’s a wonderful piece of property and we’re so glad we bought it."
Gorsuch has sided with Greenberg Traurig clients eight times and against them four times in the 12 cases where his opinion is recorded, including a case where he joined the other five conservative justices in agreement with a Greenberg client who challenged a Barack Obama measure to fight climate change by regulating carbon emissions from power plants.
“We have seen a steady stream of revelations regarding Supreme Court Justices falling short of the ethical standards expected of other federal judges and of public servants,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL). “The need for Supreme Court ethics reform is clear, and if the Court does not take adequate action, Congress must. The Senate Judiciary Committee will be closely examining these matters in the coming weeks."
Durbin has asked Chief Justice John Roberts to testify next month before his committee on the court’s ethics rules following revelations of Justice Clarence Thomas' undisclosed financial relationship with billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow.
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