Justice Alito sells Exxon stock after almost decade of recusals

June 22, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has finally sold the Exxon Mobil Corp. stock that for almost a decade kept him from taking part in cases involving the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company.

Alito’s 2015 financial disclosure report, released Wednesday, shows that he or his wife sold Exxon stock valued at $100,000 to $250,000.

The stock holdings kept Alito from taking part in a 2008 case when the court cut the punitive damage award for the 1989 Valdez oil spill to $507.5 million from $2.5 billion. Alito’s absence left the court evenly split on a separate Exxon argument that might have wiped out the entire award.

Alito also sold his stakes in several other companies including Target Corp. and Sysco Corp.

Alito, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Stephen Breyer all have financial holdings that occasionally leave them unable to participate in the court’s work. Alito didn’t take part in this year’s Puerto Rico bankruptcy clash because of investments in the island’s municipal bonds.


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