Federal Politics

Published — June 8, 2017 Updated — June 22, 2017 at 2:59 pm ET

Supreme Court a millionaire’s club

At least six justices — and potentially all nine — are worth seven figures

This story was co-published by Public Radio International, the Buffalo News and the Columbus Dispatch.

Introduction

Members of the nation’s highest court are as wealthy as ever.

At least six — and possibly all nine — Supreme Court justices are millionaires, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of new personal financial disclosures released Thursday.

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer leads all justices with a minimum reportable net worth of $6.15 million in 2016 — almost unchanged from the year before. Breyer’s portfolio as of Dec. 31 could, however, be worth more than $16 million.

Authorship padded Breyer’s income: He reported $45,000 in royalties from Penguin Random House, which last year released the paperback edition of his book, “The Court and the World.”

Chief Justice John Roberts is similarly wealthy, with a minimum reportable net worth of more than $5 million — and a maximum of nearly $11 million.

Mutual funds and education savings plans comprise the bulk of Roberts’ assets, which appear to have grown from 2015, when his minimum reportable assets were valued at about $4.24 million, to 2016.

Source: Center for Public Integrity analysis of 2016 financial disclosures released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on June 8, 2017. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch received an extension and has not yet filed a 2016 disclosure.

He also reported several sizable individual stock holdings, including at least $500,000 each in media and entertainment giant Time Warner Inc. and Texas Instruments, and at least $100,001 in Sirius XM Radio and medical research supply company Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Roberts furthermore owns part of a cottage in Limerick, Ireland, worth up to $50,000.

Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are also members of the seven-figures club. Sotomayor saw her minimum net worth jump from about $1 million in 2015 to more than $1.5 million in 2016.

Only Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, who both reported a minimum net worth just south of $600,000, aren’t guaranteed millionaires. (Their maximum net worth is more than $1 million.)

Assets and liabilities listed on the disclosure forms, which justices file annually, are reported in broad ranges. This makes it impossible to say precisely how much each justice is worth. Justices are also exempt from disclosing the value of their homes, making a precise calculation even more difficult.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, a nominee of President Donald Trump who joined the high court in April after previously serving as a federal appellate judge, has not yet filed a 2016 personal financial disclosure, having received an extension, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg confirmed.

Gorsuch’s 2015 personal financial disclosure indicated his investment portfolio was worth at least $3.1 million and as much as $7.2 million.

Breyer proved to be the most jet-setting Supreme Court justice of 2016, reporting 19 separate trips during which some entity — Harvard Law School, the American Psychiatric Association and the Pritzker Foundation, for three — paid for at least some of his travel or accommodations. Several of the events involved Breyer’s book, and four events took him to France, Spain or the United Kingdom.

Ginsburg — at 84, the oldest member of the court — is nevertheless a notorious traveler herself, making 12 paid trips in 2016, including three in Europe.

One took her to Loyola University Chicago, which in September hosted a “Tribute to Justice Scalia program.” Although Ginsberg and the late Justice Antonin Scalia were ideological foils — he a rock-ribbed conservative, she an unabashed liberal — the two also were best of friends, reveling in a shared love of opera, travel and general socializing.

Sotomayor and Alito each took 11 paid trips.

In August 2016, Sotomayor attended several events at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks that were co-sponsored by Alaska Airlines. Her travel was paid for through vouchers donated by Alaska Airlines to the university.

Most of Alito’s reimbursable travel appears to involve teaching stints, according to his disclosure.

Kagan (six trips), Thomas (six) and Kennedy (five) also benefitted last year from subsidized travel.

None of the justices are required to disclose the value of their trips. That’s no matter for Roberts, who reported no paid trips at all.

Thomas, who almost never speaks during open Supreme Court proceedings, nevertheless derived family income from a decidedly vocal publication, the conservative Daily Caller, where his wife, Ginni Thomas, is a contributor.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Martin Shellabarger
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J. Stevenson, what are you drinking? Trump has more lobbyists in his administration than probably any other president. Trump is totally “for sale”, and the corporations know it. Grow a brain!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.