Liberal Supreme Court Justice Exposed For Not Recusing Herself While Taking Millions

After Democratic politicos were up in arms and conducting a, in the words of one Republican senator, "political smear job" against conservative jurist Clarence Thomas over an alleged ethics scandal, it turns out that a liberal justice on the court has a potential scandal of her own. According to The Daily Wire, Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayer, an Obama appointee since 2009, took $3 million from Penguin Random House, a major book publisher, but also voted on a key decision where Random House stood to lose money.

Justice Sotomayer did so despite a similarly positioned jurist recusing themselves from a vote on whether to hear the case. The case in question before the Supreme Court was Aaron Greenspan v. Random House which occurred in 2013. Her fellow Justice Stephen Breyer recused himself from the case due to his financial history with the publisher. Similarly, Justice Sotomayer did not recuse herself from a 2020 vote by the Court on whether to hear another case involving Random House. Making things even worse for the liberal justice, on the same day that the petition before the Supreme Court was lodged, Sotomayer received a $10,586 check from Random House. 

The Supreme Court voted not to hear that second case in 2020 to the benefit of Random House while Sotomayer racked in a $82,807 check by the parent company, which was its largest payment to her. In both cases, it is unknown how she voted.

As Daily Wire noted Justice Sotomayer is a prolific author and has received $3.6 million in total from Random House or its subsidiaries. These payments make up the largest source of her income.

This revelation stands in contrast to the alleged scandal revolving around Clarence Thomas whose billionaire benefactor notably did not have business before the court and who did not violate any contemporary ethics standard. On that same friend's tuition payments to Thomas's grand-nephew, as Mark Paoletta pointed out, this "did not constitute a reportable gift" as the Justice "was not required to disclose the tuition payments made directly...on behalf of his great nephew because the definition of a “dependent child” under the Ethics in Government Act...does not include a “great nephew.” 

He observed that the Act in question only applied to a "son, daughter, stepson or stepdaughter" and further noted that "Justice Thomas never asked Harlan Crow to pay for his great nephew’s tuition."         
 
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