Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has received several lavish vacations, private jet rides, and other gifts from rich friends, according to a ProPublica story published on Thursday.
The justice made no comments regarding the report regarding his 38 trips, which included visits to luxurious golf resorts and expensive college football tickets, that were provided as gifts by businessmen like Wayne Huizenga (a former owner of the Miami Dolphins NFL team who passed away in 2018), David Sokol, and Paul “Tony” Novelly.
Sokol told ProPublica he and Thomas “have never once discussed any pending court matter. Our conversations have always revolved around helping young people, sports, and family matters. As to the use of private aviation, I believe that given security concerns all of the supreme court justices should either fly privately or on governmental aircraft.”
Who is David Sokol?
American business executive Sokol serves as the Chairman of Wilson, Wyoming-based Teton Capital LLC. He held the positions of chairman, president, and CEO of NetJets and chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, both of which Berkshire Hathaway owns 100% and 89.8%, respectively.
Sokol was generally viewed as Warren Buffett’s possible successor before he abruptly resigned in March 2011. Sokol, who is frequently referred to as Buffett’s Mr. Fix-It, was given the job of turning around the Berkshire divisions Johns Manville and NetJets. Johns Manville was put back on track under Sokol’s direction, and NetJets went from a $157 million loss in 2009 to a $207 million profit in 2010.
At Berkshire, Sokol played a key role in choosing acquisition targets. When Sokol visited China in 2008 to investigate the Chinese automaker BYD, Berkshire bought a $230 million investment in the company. In 2010, this position was worth more than $1.5 billion. Later in 2008, Sokol oversaw the $4.7 billion acquisition of Constellation Energy, saving the business from insolvency.