Sotomayor’s Book Advances From Knopf Surpass $3 Million

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor collected $1.9 million last year for her memoir, bringing her total to more than $3 million, according to a financial disclosure form released today.

Sotomayor received a $1 million advance in April 2012 and another $925,000 in December from the publisher, Knopf Doubleday Group. That’s on top of a $1.175 million advance she earned in 2010.

In the book, “My Beloved World,” the court’s first Latina justice tells the story of her life until she became a federal trial judge in 1992. The book, which describes her childhood in a New York City housing project and her Puerto Rican roots, has been on best-seller lists since its release in January. The book has been published in English and Spanish.

Sotomayor’s disclosure form suggests she paid cash when she bought a two-bedroom condominium in Washington’s U Street Corridor for $660,000 a year ago. Although Sotomayor lists the mortgage for her New York apartment as a liability -- she still owes between $250,000 and $500,000 -- she didn’t list any mortgage for her Washington home.

Sotomayor, 58, is one of two sitting justices to have written their memoirs. Justice Clarence Thomas’s 2007 book traced his life from his childhood in rural Georgia through his 1991 Supreme Court nomination and the sexual harassment allegations that almost derailed his confirmation.

Outside Income

Supreme Court associate justices earn $213,900 a year. They may supplement their salaries through teaching and book sales.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who makes $223,500 a year, collected an additional $20,000 by teaching at New England School of Law’s study-abroad program in Malta.

Justice Antonin Scalia earned $26,500 from five teaching assignments, plus $63,992 in book royalties. Scalia’s most recent book is “Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts.”

Justice Elena Kagan received $15,000 for teaching at Harvard Law School. Thomas earned $10,000 by teaching a course at George Washington University School of Law.

Justice Stephen Breyer received royalties of $30,891. His latest book is “Active Liberty: Interpreting our Democratic Constitution.”

Breyer’s disclosure form reveals that he sold his Amgen Inc. stock, worth between $15,000 and $50,000, in August. The sale let Breyer take part when the court ruled in February that the biotechnology company had to defend against claims it misled investors about the safety of two drugs for anemia.

Roberts sold his holdings in Dell Inc. and Intel Corp. In each case the shares were worth between $50,000 and $100,000.

Justice Samuel Alito, who received an extension of time to file, was the only justice whose annual disclosure form wasn’t released.

(Updates with income for other justices, sales of stock starting in seventh paragraph.)
    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE