Chief justice invests heavily in college funds

By Mark Sherman
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The only member of the Supreme Court with school-age children is saving furiously for their college educations.

Chief Justice John Roberts plowed at least $100,000 into a college savings plan last year, according to financial disclosure reports for the justices that were made available last Friday. Roberts and his wife, Jane, had previously saved more than $250,000 in the college accounts for their 13-year-old children, Jack and Josie.

Roberts is using Utah’s Educational Savings Plan, even though he would get a tax break as a Maryland resident if he had invested in the Maryland plan.

The federal judiciary released paper copies of the reports. Disclosures for the president and members of Congress are posted online.

The recently formed Coalition for Court Transparency quickly posted the justices’ forms online at

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who previously collected more than $3 million in advance for her memoir “My Beloved World,” said she received no royalty payments last year even as the book shot to the top of best-seller lists and remained there for several weeks. A paperback edition came out early in 2014.

Justice Samuel Alito reported inheriting investments worth more than $1 million after his mother’s death last year. Alito’s disclosure also contains details that suggest why he initially sat out a case involving the Coca-Cola Co. but then participated in it the argument and decision. Alito said he owned Coke stock in 2013. A week before the argument in April, the court said Alito would take part in the case, suggesting he sold the Coke stock. Coke lost its dispute with Pom Wonderful 8-0.

Justice Antonin Scalia was the court’s most frequent traveler, reporting 50 days out of Washington that were paid for by outside groups. Scalia’s travels included two visits to Italy and trips to Germany and Peru. Many of the trips were paid by legal groups or law schools. Other sponsors included the Federalist Society, a libertarian think tank in Italy and the private John’s Island Club in Vero Beach, Florida.

Most of the justices reported varied investments, including stocks and bonds, mutual funds, even rental property. But Justice Anthony Kennedy said he had only a bank account and three life insurance policies.