By Vicki Needham - 01/24/11 02:19 PM EST
In a letter sent Thursday to Attorney General Eric Holder, Common Cause President Bob Edgar said Scalia and Thomas attended "political strategy sessions" hosted by Koch Industries, raising questions about their impartiality in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case.
The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 requires federal officials, including Supreme Court justices, to disclose their spouse’s income and in the appropriate section of his 2003 to 2009 disclosure forms Justice Thomas checked the box for "none."
Thomas' omission of the information could be interpreted as a violation of that law and could carry a penalty, Stephen Gillers, a professor at NYU School of Law told the L.A. Times.
Yet Steven Lubet, an expert on judicial ethics at Northwestern University School of Law, said leaving out the information isn't a crime and there is a potential civil penalty.
"I am not aware of a single case of a judge being penalized simply for this," he told the L.A. Times.