Neil Gorsuch Sold Property to Head of a Major Law Firm

WASHINGTON — One month after Neil M. Gorsuch was appointed to the Supreme Court in April 2017, he and two partners finally sold a vacation property they had been trying to offload for nearly two years. But when he reported the sale the next year, he left blank a field asking the identity of the buyer.

County real estate records in Colorado show that Brian L. Duffy, the chief executive of Greenberg Traurig, a sprawling law firm that frequently has business before the court, and his wife, Kari Duffy, bought the property.

The buyer’s identity — and Justice Gorsuch’s decision not to disclose it — was reported earlier on Tuesday by Politico. The revelation comes as scrutiny on Supreme Court ethics and financial entanglements has intensified, prompting Democratic lawmakers to call for tightening the rules for justices.

ProPublica reported this month that Justice Clarence Thomas had not disclosed that he had repeatedly received free travel for lavish vacations and other purposes from a Republican megadonor, Harlan Crow, and that he had sold properties to Mr. Crow in Georgia.

He was terse, writing “Walden Group LLC” in a column that sought a description of the asset, and he did not explain what it was or mention real estate. He valued the transaction from $250,001 to $500,000, and left empty a field asking him to list the “identity of buyer/seller (if private transaction).”

Justice Gorsuch did not report any income from the sale, and it appears that he about broke even on it.

Mr. Roth said the episode showed that justices should be required to be more forthcoming in their annual reports.

“There are examples of justices omitting these types of transactions, but even when they include them, the public has every right to know more about it,” he said. “It’s hard to do basic oversight without knowing who is on the other side of the transaction.”

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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