Justice still owns most stocks, had multiple speaking engagements at religious institutions
Justice Samuel Alito remained the justice with the most stock holdings by far in 2021, even buying back in September a stock he had sold a month earlier to participate in a case, and of his paid-for and reimbursed trips, four of five were to higher ed institutions with religious ties, according to his annual disclosure released today.
The disclosure shows that Alito sold his Boeing shares on Aug. 12, 2021, to participate in 20-794, Servotronics v Rolls-Royce and Boeing, and then on Sept. 22, two weeks after the parties filed a Rule 46 (intention to dismiss) letter, Alito bought back what appears to be a similar amount of shares. (If a justice sells his shares to participate in a case with the intention of buying them back once it’s over, that may comport with the letter of the recusal statute but hardly with its spirit.)
In total, at the end of last year Alito held shares in 28 companies. Chief Justice Roberts, the only other justice who owns stocks, holds shares in four companies.
Alito was paid to teach at Virginia Beach-based Regent University School of Law ($9,000) and Duke Law ($15,000) in 2021 and was reimbursed for three trips — to Notre Dame Law School, St. Thomas Aquinas College in California and St. John’s University Law School’s Center for Law and Religion Studies in Queens, N.Y. The maximum teaching income allowed in 2021 was $29,895. Justice Thomas came closest to that, $29,595, followed by Justice Gorsuch, $26,541; Justice Kavanaugh, $25,541; and then Alito, $24,000. Regent was founded by Pat Robertson; Notre Dame, St. John’s and Aquinas are Catholic. All four lean conservative. Duke Law’s Bolch Institute, which invites Alito to Durham each year, is led by a former federal judge appointed by President George H. W. Bush.
“It’s not surprising that a conservative justice like Alito would spend his time out of Washington speaking at conservative, religious institutions,” Fix the Court’s Gabe Roth said. “But I wish he and his colleagues were more conscientious about their travel and saw themselves as justices for all Americans, not only for those who share their worldview.”