When you see famous people touring with a memoir or children’s book (when they’re famous for something other than writing children’s books) it’s because they’re trying to move copies. The places that host them are expected to buy a whole bunch of those books so the publisher can recoup the advance and make money.
Nothing too extraordinary about that, but it’s tacky when done by a Supreme Court justice.
Justice Sotomayor collected more than $1.9 million in advances and promotion for her memoir, My Beloved World, published by Knopf Doubleday.
And the money just kept coming in.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor didn’t recuse herself from multiple cases involving a book publisher – Penguin Random House – which paid her more than $3 million since 2010, according to a report.
After My Beloved World, Sotomayor began writing children’s books. Would people normally buy them in a bookstore? Maybe not.
So Sotomayor went on book tours.
Sotomayor’s staff has often prodded public institutions that have hosted the justice to buy her memoir or children’s books, works that have earned her at least $3.7 million since she joined the court in 2009.
Normal enough, but vulgar behavior for a justice. And doing it with a library is especially fetid.
In 2019, as Sotomayor traveled the country to promote her new children’s book, “Just Ask!,” library and community college officials in Portland, Oregon, jumped at the chance to host an event.
They put in long hours and accommodated the shifting requests of Sotomayor’s court staff. Then, as the public cost of hosting the event soared almost tenfold, a Sotomayor aide emailed with a different, urgent concern: She said the organizers did not buy enough copies of the justice’s book, which attendees had to purchase or have on hand in order to meet Sotomayor after her talk.
“For an event with 1,000 people and they have to have a copy of Just Ask to get into the line, 250 books is definitely not enough,” the aide, Anh Le, wrote staffers at the Multnomah County Library. “Families purchase multiples and people will be upset if they are unable to get in line because the book required is sold out.”
Uh-huh. It was all about the kids.
There’s nothing specifically corrupt here apart from Sotomayor’s failure to recuse herself from cases involving Bertelsmann, an ex-Nazi woke company using the name Penguin Random House in America. But there’s no clear evidence of any significant impact. So it’s slimy and leaves a bad taste, but not clearly corrupt.
Until Sotomayor decided to lie about it.
“Justice Sotomayor would have recused in cases in which Penguin Random House was a party, in light of her close and ongoing relationship with the publisher,” the Supreme Court said in a statement. “An inadvertent omission failed to bring Penguin’s participation in several cases to her attention; those cases ultimately were not selected for review by the Court. Chambers’ conflict check procedures have since been changed.”
A person close to Sotomayor, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the justice’s book dealings, said that Sotomayor “has not and will not profit from sales” of her memoir beyond the $3.1 million advance that she received and that doing so would “require purchases of hundreds of thousands of additional books — more than double the purchases to date.”
Sotomayor, however, continues to earn royalties — at least $400,000 since 2019 — from sales of her children’s literature, including “Just Ask!,” her second best-selling book, which was the promotional focus of the 2019 event held in Portland, emails and records show.
Major political figures get massive advances. No royalties are expected. Penguin clearly expected Sotomayor to promote the book and she more than kept up her end of the bargain.
Nothing illegal here, but the sheer vulgar greed on display really shows what she is.
As the talk neared, Le shifted her focus to books, which were offered for sale online to those who obtained tickets to the free event.
“Can you please show me the screen where people can purchase books?” Le wrote library staffers as they prepared to make the tickets available. “Are you just placing Just Ask … on the portal or all of the Justice’s books.”
When the free tickets were quickly snapped up, she asked library officials to publicize that those who could not get tickets could still meet the justice if they purchased a book.
A day later, she followed with another email, concerned that not enough of the people who got tickets had also purchased a book.
“Is there a reminder going out that people need to purchase a book at the event or bring a book to get into the signing line?” Le wrote. “Most of the registrants did not purchase books.”
Still, when she found out event organizers had only purchased 250 copies of Sotomayor’s book, she sent an email telling library officials that the quantity was “definitely not enough.”
This reminds me of the obnoxious emails Hillary’s people sent around when scheduling anything. There’s something about socialists not wanting to leave a dime on the table.