For those of us who often find ourselves, necks craned, straining for a peek underneath the robes of Article III's judicial superstars, the words "financial disclosure" have a special cachet. In the parlance of Chris Matthews, glimpsing the judiciary's financial bloomers has the power to send a thrill up our collective legs.
And, of course, a glimpse into the financial medicine cabinets of First Street's occupants induces a special contact high. While the Supremes' financial details may come as no surprise to some, they are fascinating nonetheless; after all, given that the nine Justices occupy such a hallowed niche in our judiciary (not to mention our starstruck little hearts!), the details of their personal lives are usually even more shadowy than those of the typical, discreet A3 Judge. Hence, there is something deliciously "Us Weekly" about learning that Justices are just like us! They lose money in the down market! They have whopping dental bills! They have scary credit card bills! When the slots call, they answer!
There are six millionaires on the High Court, as was the case in past years. Also unchanged since the last disclosure -- but no less shocking to this blogress -- are the two most loaded members of the Court: Justices Ginsburg and Souter. Who would think that these quiet, unassuming (and in Souter's case), and famously frugal jurists were, in fact, sitting on large bags of money? More to the point, does Souter plan to devote his imminent retirement from the Court to spending some of his estimated $6 - 27.6 million dollar net worth? Does he plan to spend any of it?
Justice-elect Sonia Sotomayor would, if confirmed, be well advised to 'shift the burden' of lavish entertaining; as the Times reported last week, her net worth is a paltry $740,000. But, while she should be saving her money for credit card bills and a mouthful of debt for dental work (no word on what, exactly, SS had renovated), the Times also reports that our newest Supreme may believe in living rich and dying poor. SS is, apparently, "an interior decorating buff who loves to shop," and a "frequent patron of Manhattan restaurants, sometimes picking up the tab for dinner with clerks." Clerquette also delighted in the news that SS is a legendary party-thrower and buyer of Christmas gifts ... which she may subsidize with her gambling winnings. If this Diva's presence in the courtroom is anything like her last trip to a casino, dear readers, we can all look forward to a smokin' hot bench!
Not surprisingly, Justice Thomas is among the "least well off" of his colleagues. Poor Justice Thomas; he can't seem to catch a break! At least the perpetually acerbic Justice has raked in a cool $1.5 million from the sales of his book, "My Grandfather's Son." That should keep the Justice and his wife, avid RV-ers, in petrol and gas-station treats for quite some time. Jerky, anyone?