Justice Jackson Discloses Gift of Flowers From Oprah

miami dade county renames streetin honor of justice ketanji brown jackson
Justice Jackson Got Gift of Flowers From OprahJoe Raedle - Getty Images

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  • Every year, Supreme Court Justices file disclosures regarding the gifts and income they've received

  • More eyes than ever are on these disclosures, given the recent revelations about Justice Clarence Thomas

  • Amongst the disclosures, observers spotted a famous name: Oprah Winfrey

Every year, the Justices of the Supreme Court file disclosures about the income they made and the gifts they received over the last year. And much like that water in your upstairs bathroom that's been slowly seeping between the tiles and pooling amidst the floorboards, nobody pays it any attention until a leak exposes just how bad the rot has gotten.

In the case of the Supreme Court, the torrential leak that formed the murky puddle Chief Justice Roberts is now frantically trying to mop up pertains to Justice Clarence Thomas' alleged acceptance of copious gifts, including lavish travel in the company of businessmen and lobbyists, all from GOP megadonor Harlan Crow. And crucially, all of which was not disclosed in Justice Thomas' past 20 years of filings.

So now, all eyes are on these Supreme Court disclosures. Thanks to AP's reporting on the filings, we now know that "Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh all brought in nearly $30,000 for law school teaching assignments." We know that Sonia Sotomayor "received nearly $150,000 in royalties for two children’s books last year and another $12,000 in payments for possible stage and video versions of Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You."

And most thrillingly for those of us who love the intersection of politics and pop culture, we know that Ketanji Brown Jackson got a"$1,200 congratulatory floral display" from a celebrity. And not just any celeb, but one of the biggest of all time: a star who revolutionized daytime TV, launched a media empire, interviewed a couch-jumping Tom Cruise, and once asked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles if they wanted an inter-species relationship with April O 'Neil. That's right, Oprah Winfrey.

Naturally, when Ketanji Brown Jackson, an accomplished legal mind who previously served on the District Court for the District of Columbia, became the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, it was a historic moment to be commemorated. Vogue did a photo shoot in the first months of her tenure, and her filing reports"$6,580 in designer clothing" gifted for the shoot. But the more eye-catching portion of her filing mentions a floral display sent to Jackson from Oprah, worth over $1,000. As for what the display looked like, AP notes that the report "did not specify the size or composition of the pricey gift of flowers from Winfrey."

Meaning, we still have questions about these congratulatory flowers. We also have questions about what Justices Thomas and Alito received this year because neither Justice has filed their disclosures, so we don't know exactly what they received as gifts in the last year, either.

But we can probably guess why they're dragging their heels in reporting it.

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