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FAQ on the Justices' Financial Conflicts in Moore v. U.S.

Q: What investments do the justices hold that pose conflicts?

Chief Justice Roberts has a one-eighth stake in Caraheen Partners, an Irish partnership that owns a Roberts family cottage in County Limerick.

Justice Thomas’ wife Ginni has a stake in Ginger Holdings LLC, which manages real estate in Nebraska.

And Justice Jackson’s husband owns KayPac LLC, which was established last year, though it is unknown at this time for what purposes.

Q: Are you sure that a win for Moore means tax deferments for the three justices who have stakes in LLCs/partnerships?

A: Very likely, yes. The nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation validated the deferment concern in a (very wonky) letter earlier this month (see end of p. 4), and last week the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center asserted (p. 2) that the outcome in Moore “may severely constrain the ability of Congress to tax unrealized income — income that taxpayers have earned but which they have not yet received in the form of a cash distribution.”

Q: How does this implicate the federal recusal statute?

A: With the likelihood of tax deferments noted above, Moore is effectively asking three justices to rule in a case concerning their very “interest[s] that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.”

Recusal is not merely warranted; it’s required under the plain meaning of the 455(b)(4) statute.

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