Sotomayor did not recuse herself from Random House cases despite book contract, $3 million in advances, royalties

 May 6, 2023

A blatant double standard was revealed Friday when it comes to Supreme Court Justices reporting gifts and payments that could constitute a possible conflict of interest on cases before them.

New information uncovered by Fox News showed that Justice Sonia Sotomayor did not recuse herself from cases involving Random House after it paid her $3 million for her memoir, My Beloved World, published in 2014. 

Sotomayor began receiving advance payments for the memoir in 2012, and reported on her 2012 taxes in 2013 $1.9 million in advances that year.

The Supreme Court was then petitioned about a case in 2013 involving a lawsuit by Alan Greenspan alleging that Random House rejected his proposal for a book about Harvard classmate Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook, then had another writer write The Social Network about the same topic.

Sotomayor's actions

The case was denied a hearing, which is not surprising because cases like those are notoriously hard to prove. But Sotomayor did not recuse herself from considering the case despite her million-dollar-plus business relationship with the company being sued.

Sotomayor continued to receive payments from Random House that eventually totaled $3.6 million due to royalties from her book, but she again didn't recuse herself from considering another case involving Random House in 2019, an appeal from another author who claimed the publisher published a book nearly identical to hers.

That petition was denied in 2020, with Sotomayor's involvement.

It seems likely that Sotomayor did not use any undue influence in these cases; this type is almost never successful. But the question is, shouldn't she have recused herself because of the conflict of interest posed by her business relationship with Random House and the fact that it paid her millions of dollars?

Going after Thomas

The question is all the more salient given the recent controversy over Justice Clarence Thomas and his acceptance of gifts of travel and assistance with selling some of his property by his dear friend, GOP megadonor Harlan Crow.

The left has tried to smear Thomas as unethical, and some on the far left like AOC have even called for his impeachment even though there was never any conflict of interest because Crow never had any business with the Supreme Court.

Not a word has been said about Sotomayor, however.

It's not surprising that there would be a double standard giving the benefit of the doubt to a liberal justice but trying to skewer a conservative one, especially a Black conservative.

The double standard

The left hates Thomas with a burning passion because he showed the world that it is possible for Blacks to be conservative and he has acquitted himself well in his 30-plus years on the court.

Thomas did his due diligence in asking other members on the court whether he should report his travel with Crow, and the rules said no until someone changed them recently.

Sotomayor was probably more in the wrong than Thomas was, but good luck getting anyone on the left to admit it.

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