Vehicle loans are generally exempt from those reporting requirements, as long as they are secured by the vehicle and the loan amount doesn’t exceed its purchase price.
Richard W. Painter, a White House ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration, said that when it comes to questions of disclosure, the ethics treatment of gifts and income often parallels the tax treatment.
But those intricacies aside, he said, “justices just should not be accepting private loans from wealthy individuals outside their family.”
If they do, he added, “you have to ask, why is a justice going to this private individual and not to a commercial lender, unless the justice is getting something he or she otherwise could not get.”.
Justice Thomas has pointed to interpretations of the disclosure rules to defend his failure to report much of the largess he has received.
The Thomases’ known benefactors include wealthy men like the Dallas real estate developer Harlan Crow, the conservative judicial kingmaker Leonard Leo and several members of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, which honors people who succeed despite adversity.
Among them: the longtime Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, who flew the justice around on his jet. »