Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito in 2014 voted on the side of their financial holdings 67 percent of the time, or in six of nine instances in which a company whose stock they own filed an amicus curiae brief, a new Fix the Court report shows.
In the six Supreme Court terms from Oct. 2008 to June 2014, Roberts, Breyer and Alito voted with their publicly traded amici a total of 68 percent of the time, or in 25 of 37 instances. That trend was documented by the non-partisan advocacy group Fix the Court in a report earlier this year.
Justices Roberts, Breyer and Alito remain the only justices who hold common stock in public companies, many of which have cases come before the court either as named parties, which would require a recusal, or as filers of amicus briefs, which does not – though it’s clear that, say, a technology company winning a patent case could help the bottom line of other (i.e., amici) tech companies that are publicly traded and hold similar patents.
In order to mitigate what’s at the very least an acute perception problem at the Supreme Court, Fix the Court today renewed its call for the justices to place their assets into blind trusts – thus giving up day-to-day management of their portfolios – until they’re off the court.
To see our initial amicus report from May, click here.