(UnitedVoice.com) – The ethics of the Supreme Court is a hot topic right now. The justices on the high court are the only judges in the country that aren’t required to abide by the Code of Conduct for US Judges. Justice Sonia Sotomayor is facing criticism for not recusing herself from a case after accepting money from a company that had a case before the court.
In 2010, Knopf Doubleday Group, a conglomerate of publisher Penguin Random House, paid Sotomayor $1.2 million. The payment was an advance for her first book, “My Beloved World.” In 2012, she received two more advance payments that totaled $1.9 million.
In 2013, the court voted to decide whether to take the case Aaron Greenspan v. Random House. It’s unclear what her vote was, but she did not recuse herself even though she’d received payments from one of the publisher’s conglomerates just the year before. Ultimately, the court decided not to hear the case, and the publisher won.
2 Supreme Court justices failed to recuse themselves from cases involving their publisher after receiving exorbitant amounts in book advances and royalties https://t.co/2mo54s7zOr
— Insider Politics (@insiderpolitics) May 5, 2023
Sotomayor received around $500,000 from 2017 through 2021 straight from Penguin Random House, bringing the total from the publisher and its conglomerates to $3.6 million. In 2019, she failed to recuse herself from a lawsuit from a child’s author against the publisher and other entities. In 2019, the court refused to hear the case Jennie Nicassio v. Viacom International Inc, et al, allowing the publisher to win in the lower court.
Justice Neil Gorsuch also failed to recuse himself from the last case even though he’d also received $655,000 from the publisher for his book, “A Republic, If You Can Keep It.”
Retired Justice Stephen Breyer was also on the court in 2013 and 2020, but unlike his colleagues, he recused himself from both of the cases because his wife is related to the founders of a company that owns a stake in Penguin Random House.
Both Sotomayor and Gorsuch did, however, list the payments on their financial disclosures.
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