ProPublica has published many disparaging articles about Clarence Thomas detailing alleged ethics violations. The Daily Caller probed ProPublica and found that many of their donors are people hellbent on ousting Thomas, with several of ProPublica’s most significant contributors being backers of left-wing groups that want the political balance of the Supreme Court to skew leftward.
Clarence Thomas’s friendship with real estate mogul Harlan Crow has been the subject of many reports by ProPublica in recent months, with tales of lavish vacations that Thomas and Crow enjoyed. Crow purportedly bought a house for Thomas’s mother.
An investigative researcher, Parker Thayer, said it is not a coincidence that organizations smearing Clarence Thomas are funded by donors among the affluent special interests on the Left. A few contributors invest hundreds of “grassroots” activist groups to create the illusion of widespread public support for a specific subject or target.
Since its inception in 2007, ProPublica has received about $40 million in funding from its primary benefactor, the Sandler Foundation. According to 990s, the Sandler Foundation has contributed more than $7.5 million to the Campaign Legal Centre (CLC) since 2015 and more than $6 million to the American Constitution Society (ACS) since 2010 for general assistance.
In April, the CLC sent a letter to the Judicial Conference asking that Thomas be referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for “potential criminal penalties” in response to allegations made by ProPublica.
In April, Russ Feingold, president of the American Constitution Society, endorsed the request for a DOJ probe.
In May, Payne appeared as a Democratic witness during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the need for reforms to the Supreme Court’s ethics.
According to tax documents, the Sandler Foundation paid the New Venture Fund $500,000 in 2019 specifically for an organization called Demand Justice, which advocates for court overcrowding and an investigation against Thomas.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is another organization supported by ProPublica’s contributors. In May, the company wrote Thomas a letter demanding his resignation.
According to filings, between 2014 and 2021, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation contributed almost $8 million to ProPublica, $60,000 to CLC, and $252,200 to CREW.
Demand Justice’s Deputy Chief Counsel Katie O’Connor cited ProPublica’s story when she urged Democratic senators to implement “immediate ethics reforms” in April. During the press conference, O’Connor demanded Thomas’ dismissal.
Demand Justice favors expanding the Supreme Court by four seats because they have a problem with the 6-3 right-leaning court. They claim it is putting democracy and their rights “at risk.” Meanwhile, the left has a problem with the Constitution, calling it a “living and breathing” document, which is code for “let’s get rid of it.”