At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr reports that Chief Justice John Roberts has recused himself from Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., a patent case argued in December, “after belatedly discovering that his stock holdings had created a possible conflict of interest”; each justice “has his or her own system for checking for conflicts,” Stohr notes, but critics “say the approach isn’t adequate.” Amy Howe covers the recusal for this blog. Additional coverage comes from Lawrence Hurley at Reuters.
- In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse takes aim at the chief justice’s failure to mention the Supreme Court nomination stalemate in his year-end report on the federal judiciary, invoking “Chief Justice Rehnquist, and the deft way he used his office’s ability to command an audience” in speaking up for judicial independence, and regretting Roberts’ reluctance to do the same; she argues that there “should be nothing partisan about the chief justice of the United States’ declaring that keeping a Supreme Court seat vacant for a year … so that an incumbent president couldn’t fill it was an unfortunate development that should not be permitted to become the norm.”
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