Remember that old adage about people who live in glass houses? Well, the Democrats are finding that out as they try to destroy the conservatives on the Supreme Court.
As they try to make a mountain out of a molehill, they will soon be trying to make a molehill out of a mountain as it relates to Sonia Sotomayor.
Over a period of a few years, her main source of income has been from Penguin Random House.
In 2010, she got a $1.2 million book advance from Knopf Doubleday Group, a part of the conglomerate. In 2012 she received payments totaling $1.9 million dollars.
Then in 2013, the Supreme Court had to vote on whether to accept a copywriter infringement case involving her publisher.
She did not recuse herself from voting on the matter. The case is known as Aaron Greenspan v. Random House. Stephen Breyer also received payments from the publisher, but he recused himself, despite the fact he was paid only 10% as much as Sotomayor.
The case, Aaron Greenspan v. Random House, involves Aaron Greenspan, a classmate of Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard who wrote a book about Zuckerberg and submitted it to Random House, who rejected it.
Then Random House gave the contract to another author who copied Greenspan’s work. The book was later turned into the movie, The Social Network. We are talking about a large sum of money here and Random House stood to pay out a fortune if they lost the case. They were fortunate that they owned a Supreme Court Justice.
In October 2019, children’s author Jennie Nicassio petitioned the Supreme Court to hear her lawsuit against Penguin Random House alleging that the book publisher had copied her book by selling one that was nearly identical. On the same day that the petition was distributed to the justices, Sotomayor received a $10,586 check from the publisher.
On February 24, 2020, the Supreme Court voted not to hear the case, denying the “writ of certiorari” and meaning that the case would remain where it left off — with a circuit court having found in the publisher’s favor. Sotomayor’s next check, coming in May of that year, was her largest ever from the parent company, at $82,807.
Lawyers for Nicassio made a compelling argument that her case was worthy of being taken up by the Supreme Court. Nicassio wrote a book called “Rocky” which “tells the story of a little evergreen tree named Rocky who dreams of becoming the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and embarks on an adventure toward that goal” against all adversity, getting advice from a mentor and facing attack by other plants, they wrote. Penguin Random House then published a book called “Albert” in which all of the same occurs, with the name of the Christmas tree changed. The lawyers said “Albert” even lifted key pieces of language from “Rocky,” and that the publisher had legally conceded that the work was copied.
The rule tightly construing what constitutes copyright infringement created a problem that was ripe for resolution by the Supreme Court, the lawyers argued, because the rule used by the Third Circuit was “radically different” from the one used by other circuits. “In the majority of the Circuits, the opposite outcome would have occurred,” they wrote. A Supreme Court ruling would serve to unify the understanding of the law.
Fix The Court has criticized the conservative justices on financial disclosures more than anyone has, but even it said that media had overreacted with stories about right-leaning justices this month, calling an issue with Justice Neil Gorsuch selling a house misleading and saying breathless findings about Chief Justice John Roberts’ wife working as a legal recruiter “much ado about nothing.”