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Justice Sotomayor’s wealth exploded by millions after joining Supreme Court, report says

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 10, 2020. (Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/TNS)
July 14, 2023

Recent revelations regarding Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s skyrocketing wealth have drawn public attention surrounding her lucrative book deals.

Since Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 2009 by then-President Barack Obama, her net worth has seen an exponential surge, indicated by her financial disclosure forms, according to Fox News.

Questions are now arising about her methods of promoting and profiting from her book sales while occupying a position of significant judicial influence.

Coming from humble financial beginnings, Sotomayor’s net worth has exploded since joining the Supreme Court, placing her among the millionaire class.

Her investments grew from a modest sum of $65,000 in 2008 to a stunning bracket of $1.6 million to $6.6 million in 2022, a substantial increase even accounting for her elevated Supreme Court justice salary.

In the center of Sotomayor’s financial turnaround is the justice’s book publishing sales. The Associated Press revealed that public institutions hosting Sotomayor were often “prodded” to purchase her memoir or children’s books, which have added $3.7 million to her investments since joining the Supreme Court.

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Additionally, Sotomayor did not recuse herself from cases involving her publisher, Penguin Random House, raising eyebrows among observers. The Associated Press’s revelations have stirred concerns regarding potential conflicts of interest, particularly in light of Sotomayor’s substantial book royalties.

Sotomayor is not the only Supreme Court Justice cashing in on book deals. Fellow Justice Amy Coney Barrett reportedly received a $2 million advance for her upcoming book, according to Fox News.

Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor and former White House ethics lawyer, raised a warning flag about this trend, stating, “I’m very concerned about the books. It’s problematic to the core.”

“There’s just too much money in it, millions of dollars,” Painter added. “We’ve got to know the difference between judges and cable news hosts.”

Sotomayor and her colleagues’ conduct calls into question the balance between the freedom of Supreme Court justices to participate in market activities and the necessity of maintaining the Supreme Court’s impartiality.

The judiciary’s involvement in commercial activities, particularly when they directly intersect with its core business, as with the publisher Random House, raises questions about how to maintain an ethical balance.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.