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Supreme ethics conflict: Radical justice took $3 million from book publisher, did not dismiss cases

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a radical member of the court, refused to recuse herself from multiple copyright infringement cases involving book publisher Penguin Random House despite receiving millions of dollars from the company for its books, according to records.

Sotomayor received a $1.2 million advance from Knopf Doubleday Group, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, in 2010 and two advance payments totaling $1.9 million in 2012.

In 2013, he voted on a decision involving a case against the publisher. Sotomayor began receiving payments from Penguin Random House in 2017, and those payments totaled more than $500,000.

He received a $10,586 check from the publisher on the same day that children’s author Jennie Nicassio asked the Supreme Court to hear her lawsuit against Penguin Random House. Nicassio alleged that the book’s publisher had copied his book by selling one that was almost identical.

On February 24, 2020, the Supreme Court voted not to hear the case, and Sotomayor received a check for $82,807 in May of that year. Sotomayor’s income from Penguin Random House was more than her court salary and offset all of her off-filing income, with the exception of $6,000 in group payments and a $5,000 option fee.

Nicassio’s lawyers argued that his case was worthy of going to the Supreme Court because the Third Circuit used a “radically different” standard than that used by other circuits. Penguin Random House and Viacom, which was also sued by Nicassio, did not file a motion in response to the petition. The case could set a precedent that could open the door to many other copyright infringement lawsuits against publishers.

The Supreme Court did not return a request for comment.

In a recent article for the Wall Street Journal, the editorial board stated that the campaign against the Supreme Court is part of an ongoing effort by Democrats to attack the conservative majority and preserve their own political power.

According to the article, reporters from various publications have been looking into alleged ethics violations or conflicts of interest between conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. However, the writers argue that these accusations are thin and have already been debunked.

The opinion goes on to suggest that the real motivation behind the push for ethics reforms is the fact that conservatives now hold a majority on SCOTUS. In recent years, SCOTUS has made a number of decisions that have been seen as victories for conservatives, including sending abortion policy to the states and expanding protections for the Bill of Rights.

The editorial board accuses Democrats of hypocrisy, noting that liberal judges have also had oversights in their financial disclosures in the past without facing the same level of scrutiny. The writers argue that Democrats only care about ethics when it suits their political agenda, and their proposals to impose an outside monitor to enforce ethical standards on SCOTUS is unconstitutional and a violation of the separation of powers. The scheme would make SCOTUS answerable to an agent of Congress and eventually be used to attack unpopular justices and intimidate the Supreme Court.

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