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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s net worth has skyrocketed ever since she became a member of the nation’s highest court — which has led to criticism from experts.
Fox News reported that, according to financial disclosures, Sotomayor’s wealth increased from being in the $15,001-$65,000 range in 2008 to being in the $1,600,000-$6,600,000 range in 2021.
Sotomayor was nominated by then-President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court in 2009. A recent data analysis of her actions on the court found that she is the most partisan justice on the court.
The 69-year-old reportedly makes more than $25,000 per year teaching law schools in addition to her $285,400 salary from the court.
The Associated Press reported that the main reason that her wealth has surged is because of the books that she has written.
Sotomayor used her taxpayer-funded court staff to enrich herself by using them to perform tasks “for the justice’s book ventures.”
“Sotomayor’s staff has often prodded public institutions that have hosted the justice to buy her memoir or children’s books, works that have earned her at least $3.7 million since she joined the court in 2009,” the report said.
The report said that she continues to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from her book sales.
The publisher of her books, Penguin Random House, has been involved in “several matters” before the court in which Sotomayor did not recuse herself.
“Justice Sotomayor would have recused in cases in which Penguin Random House was a party, in light of her close and ongoing relationship with the publisher,” the Supreme Court said in a statement. “An inadvertent omission failed to bring Penguin’s participation in several cases to her attention; those cases ultimately were not selected for review by the Court. Chambers’ conflict check procedures have since been changed.”
Former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter said that he was “very concerned” about Sotomayor’s book sales while on the court.
“It’s problematic to the core,” he said. “I think that’s wrong. There’s just too much money in it, millions of dollars. We’ve got to know the difference between judges and cable news hosts.”
Mike Davis, founder and president of the Article III Project, slammed recent partisan attacks by Senate Democrats on conservative justices, saying that their silence on the Sotomayor situation revealed that they don’t actually care about ethics.
“What is unmistakable is the deafening silence of so many Democrats and others on the left who have constantly attacked conservative Supreme Court justices — and for far less,” said Davis. “If Senate Democrats actually cared about ethics, they’d start by cleaning up the crack den called the Biden White House.”