Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Alito broke pledge to Judicary Committee

When Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito was facing confirmation hearings in 1990 to be a US circuit judge, he pledged to recuse himself from cases involving Vanguard mutual funds. Since Alito owned more than $390,000 in funds from the company, there would be a conflict of interest if he was to hear such a case.

However, Alito presided over a case in 2002 involving a woman trying to get money from her deceased husband's retirement account which was frozen by Vanguard. Alito ruled in Vanguard's favor in the case.

From the Boston Globe

After Alito ruled in Vanguard's favor in the Maharaj case, he complained about her efforts to vacate his decision and remove him from the case, writing to the chief administrative judge of the federal appeals court on which he sat in 2003: ''I do not believe that I am required to disqualify myself based on my ownership of the mutual fund shares."

The White House, asked about the seeming contradiction between Alito's two statements, said that Alito was put on the case due to an error by a computer system that should have warned that he was taking a Vanguard-related case, because the investments were listed in the database.

A computer error? That's a pretty lame excuse. A computer error didn't prevent him from recusing himself from the case. Based on his statements on the case, Alito's arrogance did that for him.


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