In 1969, Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas was discovered to have received $20,000 (around $165,000 today) from a prominent Wall Street financier. Despite having returned the money, Fortas resigned soon after the scandal broke, stating in his resignation letter that “the welfare and the maximum effectiveness of the court to perform its critical role in our system of government are factors that are paramount to all others.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who has become embroiled in controversy over lavish trips and gifts, should consider following in his footsteps.