Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth issued this statement following news that Chief Justice Roberts would no longer be participating in Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp. (argued Dec. 6) due to his ownership of 1,212 shares of Thermo Fisher Scientific, which owns Life Technologies:
This is the third instance in the last 15 months in which a justice initially missed a stock conflict and failed to recuse himself from a case as required by law. Why is it so hard for the Supreme Court to get this right?
These episodes of missed conflicts underscore our position that none of the justices should hold individual stocks. Instead, the three who do – Roberts, Breyer and Alito – should focus their investing solely on the types of financial instruments, like retirement funds and bonds, that will not further erode the public’s confidence in their impartiality.