Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett poses for her first portrait with the rest of her colleagues after signing a controversial $2million book deal

 The Supreme Court on Friday released its first photo of Judge Amy Coney Barrett with her fellow justices as legal scholars question her $2 million book deal, saying it is bad optics at a time of political peril for the court.

In the photo, Barrett stands in the back row wearing a red top and pearl necklace under her black robe. The new justices stand in the back while Chief Justice John Roberts is seated in the center.

Barrett is coming under fire for signing a book deal, coming about six months after she was sworn into office after her controversial nomination by President Donald Trump.

Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo. Seated from left: Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left: Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett

Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo. Seated from left: Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left: Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett

The Supreme Court on Friday released its first photo of Judge Amy Coney Barrett with her fellow justices

The Supreme Court on Friday released its first photo of Judge Amy Coney Barrett with her fellow justices

She is not the only judge on the high court to have gotten a book deal: Justices Stephen Breyer and Neil Gorsuch wrote on legal and civic issues.


But she has gotten the biggest advance: Justice Clarence Thomas received $1.5 million for his memoir and Justice Sonia Sotomayor got for $1.175 million hers.

Barrett's book will be about how judges are not supposed to bring their personal feelings into how they rule, publishing industry sources told Politico, calling the advance she received an 'an eye-raising amount.'

Sentinel, the conservative imprint of Penguin Random House, is the publisher.  

Although federal law doesn't preclude judges from being paid for writing books, such a large advance raises appearance issues, Charles Geyh, who specializes in judicial ethics as a professor at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law, told Bloomberg.

'Judge Barrett may be confident that the book project will not detract from her focus on her judicial duties, and she may well be right,' Geyh said. 'But from the perspective of the average American who is grinding out a living at 40k a year, the optics of a judge -- who is paid $250,000 in tax dollars to do the people's business as a justice -- moonlighting for $2 million on a book deal, are problematic.'

Another judicial ethics scholar, Stephen Gillers of New York University Law School, said he doesn't see a problem with the deal.

'The fact of the deal and the amount of the advance by themselves raise no judicial ethics problem, although she will have to recuse herself in cases in which the publisher is a party,' Gillers said. 

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on October 27, 2020 - in her six months on the court she has only written two majority opinions

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on October 27, 2020 - in her six months on the court she has only written two majority opinions


Barrett, 49, won Senate confirmation to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg right before the election. 

Not a single Democrat voted for her. Democrats complained then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allowed her nomination to go forward during a presidential election year after he blocked President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, during Obama's final year in office. 

Coney's appointment created a 6-3 conservative majority on the court. She was the final of Trump's three nominations to the Supreme Court. 

Now some liberal Democrats are pushing to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court. President Joe Biden has appointed a commission to study the issue. 

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett poses for her first portrait with the rest of her colleagues after signing a controversial $2million book deal Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett poses for her first portrait with the rest of her colleagues after signing a controversial $2million book deal Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:09 Rating: 5

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