Beyoncé gave concert tickets to Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson: Financial disclosure

ByTierney Sneed and John Fritze CNNWire logo
Sunday, June 9, 2024
Beyoncé gave concert tickets to Supreme Court justice, disclosure says
Beyoncé gave Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson four tickets to her concert last year, the justice disclosed in financial disclosure forms.

Beyoncé gave Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson four tickets to her concert last year, the justice disclosed in financial disclosure forms published Friday that also revealed that Jackson and other justices received six-figure payments in 2023 for book deals.

Jackson, who reported an eye-popping $893,750 payment from a book publisher, was joined by Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor in reporting income from books that they have published or have coming out in the future.

The book deals have at times been controversial. Supreme Court justices and other government officials are capped on receiving more than about $30,000 in outside income, but book income doesn't count toward that cap.

Jackson, a member of the court's liberal wing, was paid by Penguin Random House, the book publisher that is publishing her upcoming memoir.

Kavanaugh, a conservative who recently disclosed he is writing a memoir, listed a $340,000 payment from the Javelin Group agency.

Gorsuch, who is also publishing a book this year, reported royalty income of $250,000.

Book deals are typically paid in installments, so the full financial windfall justices receive from their books will not be known for several more years.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2022 reported receiving a $425,000 advance on her book, a figure that drew some criticism. In this most recent report, however, she didn't list any additional income from that deal.

Sotomayor, who has written a series of children's books, reported receiving two installments of royalty payments from Random House - a $47,704.63 payment in May 2023, and a $39,079.59 payment in December.

Gifts and travel revealed on disclosures

Jackson reported the Beyoncé concert tickets - worth a total $3,711.84 - as part of a disclosure mandate for gifts worth $480 or more.

The artist Lonnie Holley, meanwhile, gifted Jackson artwork for her chambers valued at $10,000. The justice also received artwork worth $2,5000 from Dr. Kathi Earles-Ross and others.

Justice Clarence Thomas said he received two photo albums worth a total $2,000 from Terrence and Barbara Giroux. Terrence Giroux is the executive director emeritus of the Horatio Alger Association, an elite philanthropic organization of which Thomas is a member.

The annual disclosures, which are required by law, provide only a rough sketch of the finances of the justices and lower court judges. But the reports have drawn considerable attention in recent years amid a series of ethics scandals involving private jet travel and luxury vacations accepted by some of the justices.

Several justices reported foreign and domestic travel paid for by law schools and outside legal groups. Gorsuch, for instance, reported traveling to Lisbon, Portugal, last summer with George Mason University for an "education program" and to London months earlier for a Federalist Society program. Kavanaugh and Barrett also both traveled to London last year, both with the University of Notre Dame.

Others listed domestic trips, including Justice Elena Kagan, who was reimbursed for travel to Notre Dame in Indiana for a speech in September. Sotomayor was reimbursed for a trip to Los Angeles last summer for an award ceremony and to Harvard University in November to sit on a moot court.

The new disclosures also revealed income justices received from various side gigs.Multiple justices received income for teaching and for rental properties, while Sotomayor was paid for a voice-acting role on an animated show.

Gorsuch received $29,798.20 last year for teaching at George Mason University, while Kavanaugh's gig teaching at Notre Dame Law school brought him $25,000.

Barrett was paid $14,947.50 last year by Notre Dame, where she is an adjunct professor. That is significantly less than the nearly $30,000 in 2022 teaching income from Notre Dame that she reported on her annual disclosures last year.

For a voice performance on the animated television show "Alma's Way," Sotomayor received $1,879.16.

Sotomayor also reported rental income from a property in New York and a property in Florida, while Chief Justice John Roberts disclosed rental income from a cottage in Maineand from a cottage he partially owns in Ireland. Thomas listed rental income received through an LLC called "Ginger Holdings" for a property in Nebraska, his wife's home state.

Kagan, meanwhile, said she made somewhere between $15,001 to $50,000 last year renting out a parking space in Washington, DC.

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