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Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Earns $1.5M in Single Year, While Clarence Thomas’ $100K Causes Stir

 June 8, 2024

Amid ongoing scrutiny of Supreme Court justices' finances, recent disclosures highlight significant earnings and gifts among justices, stirring a bipartisan debate.

Recent financial disclosures show a stark contrast in earnings between conservative and liberal U.S. Supreme Court justices, including those raked in by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as compared to Justice Clarence Thomas, as the National Pulse reports.

Thomas has faced criticism from left-wing activists and Democrats over allegations of receiving significant gifts during his 33-year tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court.

These allegations bring into question the integrity and impartiality expected of the highest court's justices.

Substantial Book Deals Among Supreme Court Justices

While the focus has been on Justice Thomas, other justices have also reported substantial earnings from various sources. The Supreme Court justices collectively reported $1.5 million in book income last year, indicating a common practice of engaging in lucrative book deals.

Jackson topped the earnings chart with $893,750 from a book advance for her forthcoming memoir. This amount is part of the collective $1.5 million reported, highlighting the significant financial opportunities available to sitting justices.

Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Sonia Sotomayor also benefitted from book deals. Kavanaugh reported $340,000 from a legal memoir, showcasing the financial benefits that justices can accrue from sharing their legal perspectives.

Additional Earnings and Gifts for Justices

Beyond book deals, other justices have reported additional incomes. Justice Gorsuch, Justice Kavanaugh, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett earned $29,798, $25,000, and $14,947, respectively, from teaching engagements. These engagements offer justices a platform to influence the next generation of legal minds while also supplementing their income.

Justice Jackson received notable gifts last year, including four concert tickets valued at $3,712 from singer Beyonce and two artworks valued at $12,500 for her chambers.

These gifts, while legal and reported, contribute to the ongoing dialogue about the ethics of justices receiving gifts and income from external sources.

Sotomayor also diversified her income through voiceover work, earning $1,879 from Fred Rogers Productions for her contribution to the children's show Alma's Way. This highlights the varied ways justices can engage with the public beyond their judicial duties.

The Debate Over Financial Disclosures

The financial activities of Supreme Court justices have become a focal point of discussion, reflecting broader concerns over transparency and potential conflicts of interest within the judiciary. This scrutiny is part of a larger conversation about the ethical boundaries for justices.

Justice Samuel Alito has obtained a 90-day extension to file his financial report, indicating that more information about Justice' finances may still come to light. The extension adds another layer to the ongoing scrutiny and speculation regarding the financial dealings of the Supreme Court's members.

The reported incomes and gifts raise questions about the transparency and ethical guidelines governing the justices of the Supreme Court, suggesting a potential need for reforms in how justices' earnings and gifts are reported and regulated.

Concluding Thoughts on Judicial Earnings and Ethics

As the Supreme Court continues to be a pillar of the U.S. judicial system, the financial disclosures of its members offer a window into the personal financial dealings that could influence public perceptions of impartiality. These disclosures are essential for maintaining the integrity of the judiciary and fostering public trust in its decisions.

The contrasting figures between justices underscore the diverse ways in which members of the Supreme Court can earn and report income, highlighting the complexities of ethical guidelines in the highest court.

In conclusion, while the earnings and gifts of Supreme Court justices like Clarence Thomas and Ketanji Brown Jackson are legally obtained and reported, they stir significant public and political debate concerning the appropriateness and impact of such benefits.

The ongoing discussions and potential reforms will likely shape the future norms and expectations of financial transparency and ethical conduct in the U.S. judiciary.