Menu
Supreme Court justices hold stock in tech vendors, other firms

Supreme Court justices hold stock in tech vendors, other firms

Justices' financial disclosure forms aren't available online, Fix the Court says

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned the interstate threats conviction of a Pennsylvania man for posting violent lyrics on Facebook

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned the interstate threats conviction of a Pennsylvania man for posting violent lyrics on Facebook

Two U.S. Supreme Court justices owned stock in tech vendors or other companies that filed briefs in cases under review by the high court in the past year, a watchdog group said Thursday.

The justices' ownership of stock in three companies that filed amicus, or friend of the court, briefs in Supreme Court cases during the past year represent a "minefield of potential conflicts of interest and ethical problems" that could damage the court's reputation, said Fix the Court, a group advocating for more transparency at the court.

Chief Justice John Roberts owned up to US $750,000 in shares of Time Warner and its subsidiaries at the time the media giant filed a brief in ABC v. Aereo, which broadcasters won 6-3 last June, with Roberts in the majority. Aereo was a start-up offering TV service to subscribers through specialized antenna farms.

Justice Stephen Breyer owned up to $100,000 in IT services firm EMC and Roberts held up to $50,000 in Hewlett-Packard last year when both businesses filed briefs in favor of Teva Pharmaceuticals, which won its patent case against generic drug maker Sandoz, 7-2, with Breyer and Roberts in the majority.

Justice Samuel Alito also held stock in publicly traded companies last year, Fix the Court said. The Supreme Court has nine justices.

The court's media relations team didn't immediately respond to a request for a comment on the Fix the Court report. Fix the Court planned to post the financial reports on its website late Thursday.

The Supreme Court released justices' annual financial disclosure reports Friday. The financial reports are available as paper documents; the court does not post them online.

Fix the Court called on the justices to place their securities into blind trusts, as is done by presidents, presidential candidates and many members of Congress.

"It's impossible to say whether justices' stock ownership played a factor in their decisions, but we shouldn't have to ask that question," Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, said in a statement.

Fix the Court also called on justices to post their financial disclosure forms online, as is done in Congress and the executive branch of government.

To obtain the financial reports, Fix the Court downloaded and filled out a form from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts (AO) website and faxed it in. The group received a notice the reports were ready seven weeks later and was charged $.20 a page for the reports.

Staff went in person to present a $17.20 check at the AO building in Washington, D.C., after which AO staff handed over the paper reports.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesStephen Breyertime warnerlegalFix the CourtGabe RothgovernmentSamuel AlitoHewlett-PackardU.S. Supreme CourtemcJohn Roberts

Slideshows

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...

HP has recognised its top performing partners in New Zealand at the second annual 2016 HP Partner Awards, held at a glittering bash in Auckland. The HP Partner Awards recognises and celebrates excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of its top partners. This year also saw the addition of several new categories, resulting in 11 companies winning across 11 award categories.

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...
Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland

Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland

Ingram Micro outlined its core focuses for 2017 at Showcase in Auckland, bringing together the channel for a day of engaging keynotes, compelling breakout sessions and new technologies.

Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland
Show Comments