Justice Jackson reports a $900,000 book advance and tickets from Beyoncé

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson collected nearly $900,000 last year for her upcoming memoir, among four justices to report sizable income from book deals

Mark Sherman,Lindsay Whitehurst
Friday 07 June 2024 17:47 BST
Supreme Court Financial Disclosures
Supreme Court Financial Disclosures (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson collected nearly $900,000 last year for her upcoming memoir, one of four Supreme Court justices who reported sizable income from book deals.

Jackson also disclosed she received four tickets to a Beyoncé concert valued at $3,700 from the singer herself.

The details were included in annual reports of the justices' finances that were released Friday. Justice Clarence Thomas belatedly reported travel paid for by others from 2019: a hotel room in Bali, Indonesia, and food and lodging in Sonoma County, California, both provided by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow. He did not report any travel paid by others last year.

In addition to Jackson, Justice Brett Kavanaugh reported being paid $340,000 by the conservative Regnery Publishing company. The company was sold and the book is to be published by an imprint at Hachette Book Group, according to Axios, which also reported this week that Kavanaugh's book will deal with his contentious confirmation hearing that included allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has denied.

Justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor reported royalty income of $250,000 and nearly $90,000, respectively.

In their day jobs, the justices are being paid $298,500 this year, except for Chief Justice John Roberts, who earns $312,200.

The only justice whose report was not available Friday is Samuel Alito, who received an extension for up to 90 days, as he does most years. The justice has separately been under scrutiny over flags that flew outside homes he owned. He has said they were raised by his wife.

Jackson, the first Black woman on the nation's highest court, signed a book contract soon after taking her seat in 2022. The book, “Lovely One,” is to be published in September.

The total value of her book deal has not been publicly disclosed, but it is expected to rival if not exceed what Sotomayor was paid for her memoir, “My Beloved World,” more than $3 million.

The disclosures paint a partial picture of the justices' finances, as they are not required to reveal the value of their homes or, for those who are married, their spouses' salary.

The justices adopted an ethics code in November, though it lacks a means of enforcement. The code treats travel, food and lodging as expenses rather than gifts, for which monetary values must be reported. Justices aren't required to attach a value to expenses.

Some Democratic lawmakers are continuing to press legislation that would require the court to adopt a binding code of conduct and provide for investigations of alleged violations. But the prospect for such legislation is considered remote in a closely divided Congress.

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