In light of allegations regarding a progressive colleague’s lucrative tenure on the bench, double standards on the left came to the fore, as ethical outrage appeared to be reserved primarily for conservative Supreme Court justices.
As the coequal branches of the American government, intended as a system of checks and balances, have steadily eroded due to executive fiat, bureaucratic neutering, and judicial activism, a constitutionally faithful Supreme Court has remained one of the strongest defenses against the collapse of the American Republic.
In order to advance reforms such as term limits, expansion, and, in the most extreme cases, impeachment of incumbent members, Democratic politicians have deemed it necessary to attack traditionalists such as Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. While partisan attacks on the aforementioned justices have persisted, no one has questioned Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s projected one hundredfold increase in net worth.
Following a recent Associated Press article about how the justice’s staff made arrangements with colleges and libraries to purchase books when she spoke at their locations, Fox News reported that Sotomayor’s finances have benefited significantly in the 14 years since she was nominated by then-President Barack Obama.
Prior to her appointment to the court in 2009, financial reports revealed that the value of her investments, which included two bank accounts, was between $15,001 and $65,000, a decrease from 2007 when it was reported that she had between $50,001 and $110,000 in both accounts.
According to her financial reports for 2021 and 2022, speaking engagements and book agreements with Penguin Random House have since increased the justice’s net worth to between $1.5 million and $6.6 million.
According to information provided by Fox News, Sotomayor earned an annual salary of $180,000 as a federal appeals court judge and an additional $25,000 lecturing at law institutions in the New York area. She earns $285,400 per year from the Supreme Court.
“Supreme Court staffers have been deeply involved in organizing speaking engagements intended to sell books,” the AP reported. “That is conduct prohibited for members of Congress and the executive branch, who are barred under ethics rules from using government resources, including staff, for personal financial gain.”
The Associated Press highlighted numerous instances in which individuals waiting in line to meet Sotomayor at universities and libraries were required to purchase one of her books. Since joining the Supreme Court, she has reportedly earned $3.7 million from book sales.
In addition, despite the obvious concern, the justice and her colleague, Justice Neil Gorsuch, failed to withdraw from cases involving Random House, according to Mike Davis, founder and president of the Article III Project, who spoke with Fox News Digital.
“Justice Sotomayor is a good person who appears to have made a mistake by having her staff sell her books, including what appears as pressure on schools and libraries to buy a minimum number of her books before her speaking engagements,” he said. “She acknowledges she made a mistake by failing to recuse from several cases involving her book publisher. The Supreme Court has adequate mechanism in place to deal with these mistakes, and the Supreme Court has already taken corrective measures.”
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton observed the silence regarding Sotomayor while corporate media and liberal politicians continued to criticize conservative justices for alleged irregularities.
“The media ignores Justice Sotomayor receiving gifts while attacking Justices Thomas and Alito. Once again, there is a different standard for conservatives,” he tweeted, sharing a snip of a conversation with radio host Hugh Hewitt.
The media ignores Justice Sotomayor receiving gifts while attacking Justices Thomas and Alito. Once again, there is a different standard for conservatives. pic.twitter.com/JyJYOhm84a
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) July 11, 2023
Responding to the concerns posed by the AP report, the court released a statement that said in part, “Judges, including justices, routinely travel and speak to university, college and law school audiences and affiliated individuals and entities. Judicial staff play an important role in assisting on issues of ethics, travel, and security.”
“Chambers staff assist the justices in complying with judicial ethics guidance for such visits, including guidance relating to judges; publications. For example, judicial ethics guidance suggests that a judge may sign copies of his or her work, which may also be available for sale,” the statement noted, “but there should be no requirement or suggestion that attendees are required to purchase books in order to attend.”