Press Releases

ICYMI: Activist group led by Ginni Thomas received nearly $600,000 in anonymous donations [WaPo]

Mar 28, 2023

The Washington Post uncovered more dark money funding Ginni Thomas’ MAGA related activities, including her work with extremist groups that have business before the Supreme Court—and her husband Justice Clarence Thomas.

The Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse would help put an end to this kind of corruption. It would hold the Court to a higher ethical standard and shine a light on dark money because the American people deserve to know how the Supreme Court is being influenced by radical MAGA special interest groups.

The Washington Post: Activist group led by Ginni Thomas received nearly $600,000 in anonymous donations

Shawn Boburg and Emma Brown

Key Points: 

  • A little-known conservative activist group led by Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, collected nearly $600,000 in anonymous donations to wage a cultural battle against the left over three years, a Washington Post investigation found.
  • The previously unreported donations to the fledgling group Crowdsourcers for Culture and Liberty were channeled through a right-wing think tank in Washington that agreed to serve as a funding conduit from 2019 until the start of last year, according to documents and interviews.

  • The arrangement, known as a “fiscal sponsorship,” effectively shielded from public view details about Crowdsourcers’ activities and spending, information it would have had to disclose publicly if it operated as a separate nonprofit organization, experts said.
  • Thomas’s activism has set her apart from other spouses of Supreme Court justices. She has allied with numerous people and groups that have interests before the Court, and she has dedicated herself to causes involving some of the most polarizing issues in the country.

  • In recent months, the high court has faced increasing scrutiny over a range of ethical issues, including the lack of transparency surrounding potential conflicts of interest and a whistleblower’s claim that wealthy Christian activists sought access to justices at social gatherings to shore up their resolve on abortion and other conservative priorities.

  • All federal judges, including Supreme Court justices, are required to recuse themselves in certain circumstances, including when they or their spouses have a financial interest in a party before the Court or when a reasonable person might question their impartiality. But because the Supreme Court sits atop the judiciary, there is no higher court to review each justice’s recusal decisions.

  • Controversy over Ginni Thomas’s political activism dates back to at least 2010, after she founded the nonprofit Liberty Central to harness the energy of the then-burgeoning tea party movement.