Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Should Chief Justice Roberts Excuse Himself from Wyeth?

Tony Mauro, from the Legal Times, points out that Chief Justice John Roberts owns Pfizer stock and questions whether Roberts should recuse himself from the Wyeth case now that Pfizer is acquiring Wyeth.  Here's an excerpt:

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. owns Pfizer stock that has prompted his recusal in previous cases. The outcome of the Levine case is likely to affect Wyeth's value, and in turn Pfizer's.

On Feb. 4, Wyeth's lawyer before the Court, Seth Waxman of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr sent a letter to the clerk of the Supreme Court informing the Court of the pending transaction. But Waxman told the Court that because of pending stockholder approvals and other matters, the transaction will not be completed until July 31 at the earliest -- weeks after the end of the Court term, by which time its decision would have been released. As a result, Waxman said he does not believe the pending takeover "warrants amendment of the corporate disclosure statement" submitted by Wyeth when Wyeth petitioned the Court last year. That disclosure statement is ordinarily the way justices are informed about parent companies and subidiaries that lets them know if recusal is required.



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