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 request form and fax it to a number in Washington, D.C. (Update: the courts are now accepting e-mail requests.)
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) to pick them up, or you can ask to receive them by mail, but that takes even longer, of course.
(Update: the reports are now available by thumb drive thanks to our years-long lobbying for digital versions!)
Once you have the thumb drive in hand, that’s great – until you realize that the disclosures from the President and members of Congress have already been online for a number of weeks, if not months. And the digital format they’re in is not searchable or machine-readable.
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.
We’d like to fix all this.