News of Clarence Thomas’s expensive gifts from a billionaire GOP donor has sharpened our sense that the rich and and powerful play by different rules — and benefit accordingly. Other Supreme Court justices are benefiting, too. Reporting out of Business Insider just today shows that Jane Roberts, wife of Chief Justice John Roberts, took in $10.3 million over the course of eight years for connecting top lawyers with firms and corporations. (And, as TNR reports, Congress has known about it for months — but we’re just finding out about it now.) Then there’s a story from earlier this week in Politico about the chief executive of a top law firm buying property co-owned by Neil Gorsuch nine days after Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Politico also reports that since the purchase, the law firm, Greenberg Taurig, has interacted with Supreme Court cases twenty-two times.
It’s a bleak picture of the state of our judicial system, bought and paid for with corporate and billionaire dollars. What do we do with that picture, and how does it come together? How can we change it? We’re digging into these questions with insightful political scientist and writer Corey Robin, and we hope you enjoy the episode — it’s available on Spotify, Substack, Apple Podcasts, Pandora, and more.