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The Ethics in Government Act, also known as the “Ethics Act” or “EIGA,” is a federal statute that requires federal officials to make certain annual financial disclosures and limits outside employment and income. In January, 2010, it has been discovered that Justice Thomas had for several years failed to disclose his wife’s income earned from the Heritage Foundation. The same day that Common Cause brought Justice Thomas’ failure to disclose his wife’s income to the attention of the Judicial Conference, Justice Thomas amended his forms, and explained that he had “misunderstood” the reporting requirement.
More recently, additional reports have raised questions as to whether the Justice may have failed to report certain travel reimbursements. In light of these recent reports, this memorandum provides an overview of the Ethics in Government Act’s applicability to members of the judiciary.