Supreme Court Responds to More Ethics Questions

Reports of Supreme Court staff promoting Justice Sotomayor’s books to libraries and colleges prompt questions.

A recent investigation revealed that the staff of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor routinely urged colleges to make bulk purchases of the various books she has authored. Justice Sotomayor routinely guest speaks at schools throughout the country, and her staff claimed that the universities needed an adequate amount of books for those attending her appearances. Investigators found that Justice Sotomayor has earned at least $3.7 million since 2009 through these types of promotions.

The Supreme Court issued a response, stating, “Judges, including Justices, routinely travel and speak to university, college, and law school audiences and affiliated individuals and entities. Judicial staff play an important role in assisting on issues of ethics, travel, and security.”

The statement continued, “Chambers staff assist the Justices in complying with judicial ethics guidance for such visits, including guidance relating to judges’ publications. For example, judicial ethics guidance suggests that a judge may sign copies of his or her work, which may also be available for sale, but there should be no requirement or suggestion that attendees are required to purchase books in order to attend.”

The court concluded, “The Justices engage in extrajudicial activities such as speaking on both legal and nonlegal subjects, and the Code of Conduct encourages public engagement by judges to avoid isolation from the society in which they live and to contribute to the public’s understanding of the law.”

The court denied that anyone was ever required to purchase Justice Sotomayor’s books.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Justice Sotomayor as she considers the practices of her staff that are in question.
  • For Chief Justice John Roberts and the other justices as they respond to ethical inquiries.

Sources: The Hill, AP, Fox News


Back to top