Sotomayor's life story is lucrative
June 7th, 2013
07:02 PM ET
9 years ago

Sotomayor's life story is lucrative

(CNN) - Justice Sonia Sotomayor's life story has proven financially lucrative, earning her more than $3 million last year, and a way out of mild debt.

Financial disclosure reports released Friday by Sotomayor and her eight Supreme Court colleagues show the Bronx native earned $1.9 million in book advances in 2012 alone. She had earlier reported a $1.2 million advance when she signed the contract with Knopf Doubleday three years ago to pen her memoirs.

"My Beloved World" has been a bestseller and the justice spoke to CNN in January about that and her life on the court. Future royalties are expected.

The justice, named to the bench in 2010, also was the only one to list financial liabilities - minor credit card debt and a mortgage on a rental property. But her book income will easily offset that.

She also traveled extensively in the United States for book promotion and was reimbursed for that. Separate travel for speeches and other appearances included stops in Guam, Hawaii, and Chicago.

All federal judges are required to list on annual financial disclosure forms any out-of-town travel for speeches and other appearances that was paid for by private groups.

Judges only have to release ranges of investment income, including stocks, not the exact value.

Justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia, as usual, ran neck-and-neck in the category of most-traveled justice, with Scalia gaining the edge in 2012.

He reported 28 domestic and international trips, including Wyoming, California, South Carolina, as well as Austria for his annual teaching stint in Innsbruck.

Scalia also had a book out last year, "Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts" (Thomson West), and he reported almost $64,000 in royalties.

Breyer made 17 out-of-town destinations, including the most overseas stops. His expense-paid business trips included Paris, Beijing, Marseille, The Hague, and San Francisco.

As a special juror on the Pritzker Architecture Prize Committee, Breyer was also able to go to London and the African nations of Burkina Faso, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Breyer is also one of the wealthier justices, with 73 separate investments and trusts totaling several million dollars.

Chief Justice John Roberts reported more than a hundred investment holdings and transactions.

Eight justices reported teaching income from universities, including lectures, which generally earned them about $10,000-$20,000 for one or more days of extracurricular work.

Most such stints occur during the court's three-month recess, scheduled this year to begin in late June, when the last of the session's rulings will be issued, including the much-anticipated same-sex marriage cases.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg taught in Venice, Justice Anthony Kennedy in Austria, Roberts in Malta, and Justice Clarence Thomas in Florida.

Justice Samuel Alito did not submit his disclosure form on time, and asked for an extension into August.

And in the gift department, Scalia gets special mention. The hunting enthusiast reported receiving a $1,000 shotgun when he spoke at the National Turkey Federation last year.

For their day jobs, the eight associate justices earn $213,900, while Roberts, as chief, gets a bit extra– $223,500 per year. Like other federal judges, and members of Congress, the justices have not had a pay raise since 2009.

Filed under: Supreme Court
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. A Kickin` Donkey

    Can`t imagine there will be any rightwing hater comments regarding Justice Sotomayer. Afterall, is the conservative creed that "free market capitalism" is next to Godliness? The more she makes the less they should have to say.

    June 7, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. swej

    Must be nice to have the entire summer off while racking in the dough.

    June 8, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |