Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Has a "Flags" to Riches Story

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is the second-richest judge in the court with a classic rags-to-riches story.

Jamie Lerner - Author
By

May 30 2024, Published 10:35 p.m. ET

Justice Samuel Alito official group photo (2022)
Source: Getty Images

In one part of the political world, everyone is talking about Donald Trump’s 34 guilty charges, making him the first former President to become a felon. In another adjacent part, representatives are attempting to get Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from cases pertaining to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. But Justice Alito refused, proving he works hard for his money.

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So how much money does he have? For some reason, politicians are some of the wealthiest people in America despite making money off the taxes we’re paying, and Supreme Court Justices are no different. But we wouldn’t expect their net worth to be quite as high as Justice Alito’s.

Supreme Court Justices pose for official group photo (2022)
Source: Getty Images
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Justice Alito has an estimated net worth of $10 million.

According to Forbes, Justice Alito has an estimated net worth of $10 million, making him the second-richest justice on the court after Chief Justice John Roberts. But one thing that’s wild about Justice Alito’s net worth is that he has worked in the public sector since the 1970s and yet, he has been able to earn quite a decent living.

Samuel Alito

American jurist, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Unite States

Net worth: $10 Million

Samuel Alito is known as one of the "most conservative justices" on the Supreme Court, where he's served as a justice since 2006.

Birth Name: Samuel Anthony Alito Jr.

Birth Place: Trenton, N.J.

Birth Date: April 1, 1950

Mother: Rose Fradusco

Father: Samuel A. Alito, Sr.

Education: Princeton University (1972), Yale Law School (1975)

Spouse: Martha-Ann Bomgardner (m. 1985)

Children: Laura Alito, Philip Alito

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Born and raised in New Jersey, Justice Alito was raised by first-generation Italian parents in a happy middle-class family. He always speaks highly of his parents, which is why the liberal movement that rose in the 1960s wasn't appealing to him. Justice Alito was never a rebel. He went to Princeton, which bolstered his conservative views (in contrast to his hippie classmates), and later Yale Law School, where he shared his aspirations to serve on the Supreme Court.

After some brief work at a Trenton law firm, Justice Alito took his first job in the public sector in 1976, a clerkship on the Third Circuit in Newark with a salary of roughly $20,000 (equivalent to about $110,000 today). He also became a federal prosecutor, did appellate work, and eventually doubled his salary.

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Justice Samuel Alito testify before House Appropriations Committee
Source: Getty Images

Justice Alito started working in Washington after the Republicans took control of the White House in 1981. That’s when he first argued in front of the Supreme Court in 1982, although he later became the U.S. Attorney General in New Jersey and was then selected by President George H.W. Bush for a judgeship on the Third Circuit. When he got his job as a Supreme Court Justice in 2006, he had a net worth of $2 million.

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Much of Justice Alito’s net worth comes from his and his wife’s inheritance.

Justice Alito met his wife, Martha-Ann, in 1979. She was a law librarian at the time and she knew they were meant to be. They later had two children together, so they had reason to be on top of their finances. In 2012, Martha-Ann’s father died and left behind a huge estate. Justice Alito declared 84 financial holdings in 2012, 68 more than the year before.

George W. Bush, Samuel Alito, and his wife Martha-Ann at the White House
Source: Getty Images

When Justice Alito’s mother died the following year, he and his sister split her estate, which was valued at $1 million–$5 million. Between his multiple inheritances and his lifelong Supreme Court Justice pension, Justice Alito’s portfolio is in decent shape. He and Justice Roberts are the only two justices who hold stock in any company, which is why their net worths are so much higher. But it also leads to more conflicts and recusals, which is convenient for those who disagree with him.

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