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Alito rejoins the Court in two cases

The Supreme Court disclosed Wednesday, in routine entries on its docket, that Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., will now be taking part in two cases from which he had held himself out earlier — both set for argument next week.

In earlier orders in the cases of POM Wonderful v. The Coca-Cola Company, a case about truthful labeling on fruit juices, and American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo, a case about Internet “streaming” of free TV programs — for a fee, Justice Alito had not taken part when the Court issued preliminary orders.  No explanation was given, but it was assumed that he had financial investments that made his recusal necessary.

On entries in each case Wednesday, the Court informed the lawyers and the public that “Justice Alito is no longer recused in this case.”  No explanation was given, but presumably he has cleared up a conflict that had induced his recusal.

The POM Wonderful case is set for argument at 11 a.m. Monday, and the Aereo case is scheduled for argument at 11 a.m. Tuesday.  (Both cases presumably had been set for the second hour on each of those days, because that allowed Justice Alito to be on the bench for the first case of the day, and then step aside when the second case came up.  As a result of his return to participation, however, the cases will remain as scheduled; he simply will stay on the bench.)

Although Justice Alito’s move will mean there will be a full bench for the Aereo case, Justice Stephen G. Breyer has been recused along with Alito from the Pom Wonderful case.  There has been no indication of a change in Breyer’s position.


Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Alito rejoins the Court in two cases, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 16, 2014, 5:15 PM),