The stock portfolios of Supreme Court justices have become a flash point this term, in which six cases could be affected by justices recusing themselves because they own financial stakes in companies involved. Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Stephen Bryer have bowed out of cases involving Pfizer, Exxon and Cisco, respectively—apparently because of stock holdings, Bloomberg reports.
Recusals by Roberts in one case, and Justice Anthony Kennedy in another (involving special education), have already led to the first 4-4 verdicts since 2003. Court-watchers: “We know it's important enough for the court to take, but we don't know the answer,” one expert said. The perceived reason is also irritating, and some think justices should just "dump the whole portfolio.”