• Politics
  • Supreme Court

The Most Interesting Revelations in the Supreme Court Justices’ Financial Disclosures

4 minute read

Financial disclosures for eight of the nine Supreme Court Justices were made public on Friday, revealing information about a gifted trip to Bali, free concert tickets to see Beyoncé, and nearly $1.6 million in book deals.

The annual disclosures come as the court faces mounting pressure over its transparency and accountability measures, particularly concerning potential conflicts of interest and ties to affluent donors. A string of revelations in recent years about some of the Justices and undisclosed gifts has only intensified public scrutiny and raised questions about the impartiality of the judiciary.

Justices are required to publicly disclose financial information each year to prevent conflicts of interest. Justice Samuel Alito was granted a 90-day extension to file his report, which he has also received in past years.

Here are the most interesting tidbits from the Justices’ financial disclosures. 

A trip to Bali with billionaire Harlan Crow

Justice Clarence Thomas acknowledged for the first time that he accepted luxury travel from Republican billionaire Harlan Crow for previously undisclosed trips he had taken in 2019 to Bali and a private all-male club in Northern California.

The two trips were at the center of a ProPublica report last year exposing Thomas’ unreported luxury travel, triggering unprecedented scrutiny over the wealthy benefactors close to the Justices and their commitment to ethics rules. The story claimed that Thomas and his wife, Ginni, took lavish trips paid for by Crow, a Texas real estate mogul and Republican megadonor, almost on a yearly basis for over two decades without disclosing them. 

According to the new disclosure forms, Crow and his wife provided food and one day of hotel lodging during Thomas’ trip to Bali in July 2019, and later paid for Thomas’ four-day stay at a private club in Monte Rio, California. Thomas explained in the document that the gifts from the Crows were “inadvertently omitted at the time of filing.”

Beyoncé concert tickets worth nearly $4,000

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson disclosed that she accepted four free tickets worth $3,711.84 from pop superstar Beyoncé to one of her concerts last year. The disclosure form does not specify which concert the tickets were for, but a Supreme Court spokesperson confirmed the gift to The Washington Post and said: “Justice Jackson is Crazy in Love with Beyonce’s music. Who isn’t?”

Jackson, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2022, also accepted two pieces of art worth $12,500 to display in her chambers. She had the most outside income of any Justice last year.

Big advances for upcoming books

Three Justices reported cashing in on book deals last year, totalling nearly $1.6 million in advances and royalties.

Jackson reported the highest amount: an eye-popping $893,750 advance from Penguin Random House for her upcoming memoir, “Lovely One.” The book, which comes out in September, traces “her family’s ascent from segregation to her confirmation on America’s highest court within the span of one generation,” according to the publisher’s site.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who is reportedly working on a legal memoir, disclosed that he received $340,000 from the conservative Regnery Publishing company. Justice Neil Gorsuch reported $250,000 in royalties from the publisher HarperCollins for his upcoming book, “Over Ruled,” which is slated to release in August. The book will examine the amount of laws in the U.S. and the “human toll so much law can carry for ordinary Americans,” according to the publisher’s site.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor also reported about $87,000 in book royalties and was paid about $1,900 for her voice performance in the PBS Kids animated show Alma’s Way. 

Large payments related to book deals have been somewhat controversial in the past. Supreme Court Justices, like other government officials, are only allowed to receive less than about $30,000 in outside income, but book income does not count toward that cap, allowing the Justices to enter into lucrative contracts with publishers about their lives and the law. Only Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Elena Kagan have so far not cut book deals.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Nik Popli at nik.popli@time.com