To get a justice’s statutorily-mandated annual financial disclosure report, you have to want it. And you must have patience.
First, you must download and fill out a form and fax it to a number in Washington, D.C.
Then, after receiving notice many weeks later that the report is ready, you must then go in person to an office building in D.C. (that is not the Supreme Court building) with a check, since a report costs $0.20 per page. You may also mail in your check, but then it takes even longer for the reports to be received. Once you hand over the check, the report is yours – at which point you realize that the financial disclosures from the President and members of Congress have already been online for a number of weeks, if not months.
Further, the justices are not required to fill out as much detail in their reports as top officials in other branches, such as certain travel records and stock transactions.
A side-by-side comparison between the branches is coming soon.
Today marks just the second time since the Ethics in Government Act went into effect in Oct. 1978 that the justices’ disclosures were distributed for free and via anything other than paper – in this case, thumb drives.