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On a Supreme Court dominated by seeming millionaires, the only woman justice and the only bachelor appear to be the wealthiest of its nine members. In the justices’ financial disclosure forms for 2005, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reported assets valued at between $6.4 million and $28 million, while Justice David Souter listed assets worth between $5.6 million and $26.3 million. But they are not alone in the Court’s millionaire club. Only Justices Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy reported assets with a maximum possible value of less than $1 million. The 2005 forms of eight of the justices were made public in June, but Justice Antonin Scalia received an extension on the filing deadline for undisclosed reasons. With the recent release of Scalia’s form, it is now possible to rank the justices in order of assets reported, not including homes. The justices’ holdings are reported in ranges of value, making precise totals impossible to calculate. For example, the estimate of Souter’s wealth could be inflated by the fact that his investment in the Chittenden Corp., a Vermont bank holding company, is listed in a category that ranges from $5,000,001 to $25 million. Several of Ginsburg’s assets are in the $1,000,001 to $5 million range, including her husband’s salary as counsel to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Martin Ginsburg, a tax expert, is also a professor at Georgetown University Law Center. In descending order, here are the ranges for the other justices’ asset totals, calculated by adding the lowest possible amounts and then the highest: • Stephen Breyer: $4,125,080-$15,440,000

• John Roberts Jr.: $2,235,063-$5,860,000 • John Paul Stevens: $1,590,018-$3,480,000 • Antonin Scalia: $700,019-$1,595,000 • Samuel Alito Jr.: $665,025-$1,740,000 • Clarence Thomas: $150,006-$410,000 • Anthony Kennedy: $65,005-$195,000

As they often do, the financial disclosure forms also bear statistical witness to some of the controversies, life changes, and oddities justices faced in the past year. Scalia reported reimbursements for several trips to New York City, including one to serve as grand marshal for the Columbus Day parade and another to address journalists and others at the invitation of media giant Time Warner. When Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons, at the last minute, declared the talk off the record, sharp-elbowed New York journalists revolted and found creative ways to report what Scalia said, anyway. Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove wrote about what Scalia “might have said,” including a pronouncement that he was trying to get out and about more. “My kids have been working on me to get out and do more public appearances,” Grove quoted Scalia as saying. “They think it makes it harder to demonize you � and I agree.” That campaign, still in progress, produced 24 reimbursed trips in 2005. Another of Scalia’s trips, reimbursed by the Federalist Society, is described blandly as: “Sept. 28-Oct. 1 – Denver, CO, Lectures/Transportation, Food, and Lodging.” It was the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Bachelor Gulch, to be precise, and the trip coincided with the swearing-in of Roberts as chief justice back in Washington. That coincidence gave ABC News the fodder to report, with video, that Scalia was playing tennis when Roberts was being sworn in. Speaking of Roberts, his form indicates that one of the chores he attended to before he was sworn in as chief justice was selling some of his stock holdings. In the week before he joined the Supreme Court, he shed relatively small amounts of stock in Agilent, AstraZeneca, and Coca-Cola, among others. But he retained larger holdings in Time Warner, Dell, and Microsoft. Roberts’ decisions may reflect a problem that judges face when they sell securities to avoid conflicts of interest: They have to pay capital-gains taxes on the sale. High-level executive branch employees who sell stocks for that reason are allowed to defer their gains by investing in replacement property within 60 days. A bill that would grant the same deferral to judges has passed the House of Representatives and is pending before the Senate. Stevens’ form evokes the memory of a happier day, Sept. 14, when he threw out the first pitch at a Chicago Cubs game, wearing a Cubs jersey bearing his name. His form notes that he was provided a “box suite seating 12 [and] food.”
Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected].

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