(The Hill) – Justice Neil Gorsuch and two partners sold a property they owned to the head of a major law firm with business before the Supreme Court days after Gorsuch’s confirmation, according to Politico.
Politico reported that Gorsuch had sought a buyer for nearly two years for the 3,000-square-foot home, located northwest of Denver, and that Greenberg Traurig CEO Brian Duffy put the property under contract nine days after Gorsuch’s Senate confirmation to the high court in April 2017.
Greenberg Traurig, which employs more than 2,000 attorneys, is regularly involved in cases before the high court.
Grand County, Colo., real estate records show that Brian and Kari Duffy, which match the names of the firm’s CEO and his wife, closed on a property sold by Walden Group, LLC, the name of Gorsuch’s company, on May 19, 2017. The sale was for $1.825 million, the records indicate.
Gorsuch reportedly owned a 20 percent stake in the company, and his two partners each owned 40 percent. Gorsuch in his annual financial disclosure that year noted he received between $250,001-$500,000 for a sale stemming from the company, but a box for the identity of the buyer is left blank.
Supreme Court justices are required to file the annual disclosures under federal law, although they are not required to follow any binding ethics code. The justices have indicated they generally consult their colleagues when deciding ethical dilemmas.
The Hill has reached out to Supreme Court and Greenberg Traurig spokespeople for comment.
Politico’s report follows heavy scrutiny on Justice Clarence Thomas after a ProPublica investigation detailed luxury trips and gifts he received over the years from GOP mega donor Harlan Crow.
ProPublica days later reported that Thomas did not disclose a 2014 real estate deal with Crow, in which his company bought a series of Savannah, Ga., properties from Thomas and his family for $133,363.
Crow reportedly later had contractors complete tens of thousands of dollars of work on the property while Thomas’s mother remained living there.
The investigation led to outrage from Democrats, who have renewed their calls for more stringent ethics rules at the high court. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has invited Chief Justice John Roberts, or another justice he designates, to testify before his committee next week.