In what has to be a case of breeding hypocrisy with chutzpah, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is violating a standard she set down as a federal judge. That case was Archie v. Grand Cent. Partnership, Inc in 1998.
Sotomayor ruled that Grand Cent. Partnership, Inc., had to pay minimum wage to its interns because, despite their intent “they did not structure a training program as that concept is understood in case law and regulatory interpretations but instead structured a program that required the plaintiffs to do work that had a direct economic benefit for the defendants. Therefore, the plaintiffs were employees, not trainees, and should have been paid minimum wages for their work.”
Fast forward to the present day offices of Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor. While all Supreme Court justices use interns, they give them valuable experience they can use in their careers as lawyers, including research and application of laws. That is not the case with Sotomayor. She doesn’t even require her interns to be law students or graduates. They do however have to have a valid driver’s license. That’s because of the work they are required to do.
Who would you vote for if the elections were held today?
Interns for Sotomayor act as butlers, maids, cooks and chauffeurs. No other Supreme Court Justice does this. Her ad on a Latin Facebook page lists duties as running errands away from the courthouse, fixing lunch and snacks, photocopy, answer the phones and other menial tasks. In return, all interns are responsible for their own living arrangements and transportation and receives no wages.
So, let us revisit Archie v. Grand Cent. Partnership, Inc. Are her interns in a training program that gives them invaluable experience? Yeah, if their goal is to be a server at the local Waffle House. Do the interns provide economic benefits for Sotomayor? Yes. The money she would normally pay for butlers, cooks and chauffeurs. Therefore, not only would her interns be fodder for accusations of ethics violations of the Supreme Court, but more importantly, is she violating rules and laws pertaining to interns that the Labor Dept would be prosecuting if the offender was not a Supreme Court Justice?
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