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Pfizer, Exxon Find U.S. Justices as Shareholders May Cost Them

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Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:44 AM
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Pfizer, Exxon Find U.S. Justices as Shareholders May Cost Them
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts is one shareholder Pfizer Inc. might be better off without.

Roberts's Pfizer stake, which is worth between $15,001 and $50,000, almost certainly led to a Supreme Court deadlock this week that allowed lawsuits over the company's Rezulin diabetes drug. Roberts, 53, didn't take part in the case, and the court split 4-4, leaving Pfizer one vote short of stopping the suits.

``If you're on the industry side, it kills you that Roberts recused himself,'' said Mark Herrmann, a product-liability lawyer at Jones Day in Chicago. ``That's your fifth vote.''

Roberts's recusal, and others this term, have fueled calls for the nine justices to shed their stock holdings and put the money into funds or other investments less likely to create a conflict of interest.

``They ought to be encouraged to dump the whole portfolio,'' said Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Painter, who was President George W. Bush's chief ethics lawyer and worked on the nominations of Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, called stock ownership by jurists ``a huge problem.''

Five days before the Pfizer deadlock, the court considered the $2.5 billion punitive damage award for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill without Alito, 57, an Exxon Mobil Corp. shareholder. In January, the court ruled on shareholder lawsuits with no input from Justice Stephen Breyer, 69, who owned shares of Cisco Systems Inc., the parent of a company involved in the case.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&refer=n...
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:47 AM
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1. this is fascinating.... I wonder how long it will take these Justices
to drop the portfolio's in favor of a harder to trace benefit from these companies? Or an exquisitely worded loophole that will let them adjudicate AND profit at the same time?
:think:
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:31 AM
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2. The Cheney boys should just do what he does - let Halliburton, KBR,
Dubai, Cayman Islands, and Switzerland hide it all.
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