by Gabe Roth, executive director, Fix the Court
On April 16, the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will take the bench for arguments in an obscure section of the tax code. Then, about an hour later, Justice Alito will leave the bench before the start of a patent infringement case, WesternGeco LLC v. Ion Geophysical Corp.
The Chief won’t be putting his fellow Bush 43 appointee in timeout; rather, Alito will be recused due to his stock ownership in WesternGeco’s parent company, Schlumberger. According to his most recent financial disclosure report, Alito held between $1 and $15,000 in Schlumberger shares at the end of 2016. (Justices’ holdings are given in ranges, and the 2017 report won’t come out until June.)