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Sotomayor's net worth probably on low end of federal judiciary

The Supreme Court nominee's only investment income is interest of $1,000 on bank accounts that add up to no more than $65,000, a 2008 disclosure form shows.

May 29, 2009|Andrew Zajac

WASHINGTON — Getting nominated to one of the rare openings on the U.S. Supreme Court requires an element of luck. Sonia Sotomayor appears to have had an abundance of it in recent months.

On Tuesday, President Obama picked Sotomayor, 54, a federal appeals court judge from New York City, to replace retiring Justice David H. Souter.

She also hit the jackpot Nov. 23 in a Florida casino, collecting $8,283 while gambling with her 81-year-old mother. (The White House declined to disclose the name of the casino or the game Sotomayor played.)

Sotomayor listed her winnings in a recently released disclosure form that outlined her 2008 finances. Sotomayor's net worth is probably on the low end within the federal judiciary.

Many judges had lengthy and lucrative careers in private firms before moving to the bench. But Sotomayor spent less than eight years as a corporate lawyer in the private sector. Her only investment income last year was interest of $1,000 or less on checking and savings accounts valued at a maximum total of $65,000.

As an appellate judge, Sotomayor earned an annual salary of $179,500.

Other than that salary, her disclosure form listed two sources of non-investment income: her casino winning -- which she labeled "jackpot game winning" -- and payments of $25,830 for lecturing on law at Columbia University.

Her disclosure form showed credit card debt of $15,000 or less for each of four retail credit cards -- which could mean anything from $1 to $15,000. That is the lowest range on the form.

Sotomayor also reported being reimbursed unspecified sums for meals, transportation and lodging at eight judicial or educational conferences.

The value of judges' residences need not be disclosed.

Sotomayor's net worth has changed little in the last seven years, the period for which disclosure reports are available.

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azajac@latimes.com

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