Conservative Activist Directed Thousands to Clarence Thomas’ Wife – Rolling Stone

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A conservative judicial activist urged there be “no mention of Ginni” in billing paperwork for consulting payments to Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. 

Documents obtained by the Washington Post, reveal that in 2012 Leonard Leo — an advisor to the nonprofit Judicial Education Project — directed payments to Thomas for unspecified consulting services during a year in which the organization filed a brief before the Supreme Court. 

According to the Post, Leo instructed Kellyanne Conway, then a prominent GOP Pollster, to bill the Judicial Education Project “another $25K,” and then direct the money to Thomas. “No mention of Ginni, of course,” Leo added in a message to Conway explaining how to handle the paperwork for the billing. 

Conway’s bill to the Judicial Education Project listed the funds as “Supplement for Constitution Polling and Opinion Consulting.” Overall, Conway’s firm paid Thomas’s own firm, Liberty Consulting, $80,000 between June 2011 and June 2012, and had scheduled an additional $20,000 payment for later that year. 

The year the payments took place, the Judicial Education Project submitted an amicus brief supporting the overturning of several provisions of the 1965 Civil Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder. The court would ultimately render null a portion of the act that required states with a history of discriminatory voting legislation to submit proposed changes to their election laws to the U.S. Department of Justice or D.C.’s federal district court to ensure changes to the law would not harm minority voters. 

While the Post was unable to ascertain the nature of the work Ginni Thomas was paid for by Leo, the connection points to a pattern of concerning financial relationships between the Thomas family and prominent members of the conservative movement. 

The consulting work of Ginni Thomas has already been pointed to as a potential conflict-of-interest with the work of her husband. The Justice was involved in various key Supreme Court rulings regarding investigations into former President Trump’s actions in the aftermath of the 2020 election. At the time, Ginni Thomas, was an active figure in efforts to pressure state officials to act on behalf of the former president and overturn the election.


On Thursday, ProPublica revealed yet another financial benefit granted to Justice Thomas by conservative billionaire Harlan Crow. The billionaire reportedly footed the bill for more than $150,000 in tuition bills for Mark Martin, the Thomas’ grand-nephew who the couple had raised “like a son.” Justice Thomas did not disclose the payments in ethics forms. 

ProPublica previously reported on the many other undisclosed perks and payments received by Thomas from Crow — including lavish trips, rides in his private jet, and even purchasing $133,000 worth of real estate from Thomas’ family.

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