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Justice got $1.2M for memoir

By Adam Liptak

New York Times News Service

Published: Friday, May 27 2011 11:04 p.m. MDT

WASHINGTON — Justice Sonia Sotomayor received a $1.175 million advance last year to write a memoir, according to financial disclosure forms released Friday for the nine Supreme Court justices.

It was known that Sotomayor was at work on a book, which was described in July by its publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, as a "coming-of-age memoir by an American daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants." But the size of the advance had not been disclosed.

The payment brightened Justice Sotomayor's financial picture. A debt for dental work in the range of $15,000 to $50,000 listed last year is not mentioned on this year's form. Still, Sotomayor was the only justice to list credit card debts, on four different accounts, all for less than $15,000 each.

Two other justices reported book royalties this year. Justice Stephen G. Breyer made about $60,000, and Justice Antonin Scalia about $40,000.

Justice Clarence Thomas received more than $1 million for his memoir, "My Grandfather's Son," which was published in 2007. He did not disclose any book royalties this year.

But he did say that his wife, Virginia, last year received "salary and benefits" from Liberty Central, a conservative group she founded with ties to the Tea Party movement. Virginia Thomas also received money, the forms said, from Liberty Consulting, a lobbying firm she started last year, and from Hillsdale College in Michigan, for which she ran a constitutional law center in Washington.

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