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A scathing report shows that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was ready to quit over low pay before taking gifts from conservatives.

According to reports, the controversy around Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is growing more turbulent as it was revealed that he had a conversation with a Republican lawmaker over 20 years ago that he would step down if he couldn’t get a higher salary. The conversation occurred between Thomas and former GOP Representative Cliff Stearnes after both attended a conservative conference in Georgia in 2000, with Thomas saying “one or more justices will leave soon.”

“I intend to look into a bill to raise the salaries of members of The Supreme Court,” Stearns said in a letter to Thomas afterward. “As we agreed, it is worth a lot to Americans to have the Constitution properly interpreted.” At the time, Thomas’ salary as a Justice was $173,000 but he had a substantial amount of debt and was frustrated as he also had a young grandnephew to raise without seeing any potential for a raise. His contemplation left many Republicans who counted on Thomas’ right-wing jurisprudence in the Court concerned. “His importance as a conservative was paramount,” Stearns told a reporter when contacted. “We wanted to make sure he felt comfortable in his job, and he was being paid properly.”

Thomas has been under fire in recent months as it was discovered that he was lavished with luxury vacations and other pricey gifts from conservative millionaire benefactors such as Harlan Crow, who was found to have bought three properties from the Supreme Court Justice (including his mother’s house) and paid for his grandnephews’ private school education. Both Crow and Thomas have consistently denied any impropriety, but the revelation stained the reputation of the Supreme Court further as many viewed it to be acting predominately in the interests of the right wing, particularly with the decision in the Dobbs case pushed through by Justice Samuel Alito last year.

The past allegations against Thomas compelled Justice John Roberts to “fairly, impartially, and diligently” call for a code of ethics for the higher court, spurred on by the demands of Democratic lawmakers. It also comes as these lawmakers have been calling for Thomas to recuse himself from hearing the upcoming criminal case against former President Donald Trump for his alleged role in provoking the events of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Uncle Clarence Thomas Wanted To Quit SCOTUS If Not Paid More  was originally published on