Majority of U.S. Supreme Court Justices are Millionaires

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Friday, June 24, 2016 2.27PM / by Michael Beckel, The Centre for Public Integrity

At least six — and perhaps as many as all eight — U.S. Supreme Court justices are worth at least $1 million, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of new financial disclosures.

Topping the list is Stephen Breyer, who is worth at least $6.1 million — and possibly as much as $16 million going into 2016. Breyer's top holdings include stock in publishing company Pearson PLC, as well as property in New Hampshire and the Caribbean island of Nevis.

Chief Justice John Roberts boasts the second-highest net worth: at least $4.2 million.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are also worth more than a million bucks.

The same is true of their would-be colleague Merrick Garland, who President Barack Obama has nominated to fill the vacancy following the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia. (Scalia's estate is not required to file a financial disclosure on his behalf.)

If confirmed to the Supreme Court, Garland — currently the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — would, in fact, become the court's wealthiest member.

Documents released today indicate Garland is worth at least $7.6 million — and possibly as much as $25 million. Among his top assets? A rental property in New York City and several mutual funds.

Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas are the court's paupers — relatively speaking. Both men's minimum estimated net worth was around $600,000 — although each could be worth as much as $1.2 million.

Assets on the forms, which are filed annually, are reported in broad ranges. This makes it impossible to say precisely how much each justice is worth. Judges are also exempt from disclosing the value of their homes, making an accurate calculation even more difficult.

But suffice it to say, none of the Supreme Court justices are facing economic hardship. 

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