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(Center for Public Integrity)   The nation may now rest easier knowing that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito got filthy rich last year on investments in Boeing, Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Merck   (publicintegrity.org) divider line 156
    More: Scary, U.S. Supreme Court, Alito, ConocoPhillips, Boeing, Center for Public Integrity, investments  
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2810 clicks; posted to Politics » on 18 Jul 2013 at 3:37 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-17 11:25:02 PM  
I'm sure there's no conflict of interest there.
 
2013-07-17 11:30:15 PM  
Shocking.
 
2013-07-17 11:33:57 PM  
I'd fully support a law banning government employees from investing in corporations in which there official role could effect the business of said corporations.  I'd also be all for a law banning government employees from taking private sector jobs in industries that were related to their official role for at least ten years after leaving office.
 
2013-07-18 12:05:36 AM  
Conflict of interest says what?
 
2013-07-18 12:22:01 AM  
This is my surprised face.
 
2013-07-18 12:23:54 AM  
At least Alito never worked for any of those companies.

Justice Thomas used to work for Monsanto, and did not recuse himself over a case in which Monsanto was one of the parties.

Real class act, there, Justice Thomas.
 
2013-07-18 01:04:06 AM  
FTA: "Attempts to reach Alito's office for comment were unsuccessful"  because FARK YOU THAT'S WHY
 
2013-07-18 01:56:50 AM  
Yawn. Not news.

/because our entire farking government does it. Damn it all.
 
2013-07-18 03:43:40 AM  
Should legislators and judges be forced to give up any investments they've made over the years?

If we're going to do that, why not all government workers? Why draw a line at all? Maybe we shouldn't be able to invest at all in companies we buy products or use services of.

The right answer to someone getting worked up about a Justice owning a stock portfolio is So What.
 
2013-07-18 03:44:13 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: I'd fully support a law banning government employees from investing in corporations in which there official role could effect the business of said corporations.  I'd also be all for a law banning government employees from taking private sector jobs in industries that were related to their official role for at least ten years after leaving office.


Executive branch employees have such restrictions already (or similar, I'm not sure it's 10 years, but something like that).

Aim your attention away from government employees, and towards the real scum, elected and appointed officials.
 
2013-07-18 03:44:39 AM  
If I had the money, I'd start a media organization that strictly devotes itself to following up on news reports where a particular party could not be reached for comment.

I'd LOVE to know what these people actually have to say for themselves, or would love to know that someone spent more than an hour trying to contact them regarding something of national importance.
 
2013-07-18 03:47:00 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Should legislators and judges be forced to give up any investments they've made over the years?

If we're going to do that, why not all government workers? Why draw a line at all? Maybe we shouldn't be able to invest at all in companies we buy products or use services of.

The right answer to someone getting worked up about a Justice owning a stock portfolio is So What.


To be fair, hundreds of congressmen who have terms that last a few years, versus nine with terms that last a lifetime...

It sort-of sounds like the Lord of the Rings, to me. The race of men sucked, but the Ringwraiths were worse
 
2013-07-18 03:47:35 AM  
And, the fact that the Ringwraiths were men once is part of the joke.
 
2013-07-18 03:48:38 AM  

puffy999: AverageAmericanGuy: Should legislators and judges be forced to give up any investments they've made over the years?

If we're going to do that, why not all government workers? Why draw a line at all? Maybe we shouldn't be able to invest at all in companies we buy products or use services of.

The right answer to someone getting worked up about a Justice owning a stock portfolio is So What.

To be fair, hundreds of congressmen who have terms that last a few years, versus nine with terms that last a lifetime...

It sort-of sounds like the Lord of the Rings, to me. The race of men sucked, but the Ringwraiths were worse


I haven't seen that movie.
 
2013-07-18 03:49:51 AM  
Oh, by the way, we're more likely to impeach a President than a Supreme Court Justice, even in the term limit era
 
2013-07-18 03:51:31 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: I haven't seen that movie.


Hell, I like you! You can come over to my house and fark my sister!
 
2013-07-18 04:15:17 AM  

themindiswatching: Yawn. Not news.

/because our entire farking government does it. Damn it all.


It's not news, but it should be. This isn't the sort of thing I want my public representative doing. A conflict of interest means that the politicians, judge's or other public servant's primary interest is being diverted to another interest, that of a third party. The primary interest of a public servant is to SERVE the public. That's why we vote for them. (except for supreme justices, of course.

I am sadly disappointed every time I see a bit of news like this.
 
2013-07-18 04:17:39 AM  
And congress continues to vote themselves a new pay raise. The government is pretty corrupt. BFD.
 
2013-07-18 04:22:28 AM  
I wonder how he would side if one of the companies he invested in had a Supreme Court case.
Let's just be done with it and bring insider trading back.
 
2013-07-18 04:27:16 AM  
Do you not expect that a Supreme Court justice, like every other American with means, has money invested? Would it not make sense to invest said money into companies that, I don't know, might offer a good return on investment?

Show me where he made a decision that directly benefited one of the aforementioned companies and I might agree that it's a conflict of interest. Otherwise, it's just a guy with money putting it in the stock market.

FTFA: The bulk of Alito's spike in wealth comes from previously unreported PNC Bank accounts valued between $250,001 and $515,000, along with two Edward Jones investment accounts.

Edward Jones? He's probably in index funds.

Incidentally, do you think that Obama will come out of office empty-handed? I ask that not because he's a Democrat and I'm trying to make some sort of comparison, but because someone is managing his investments right now, and when he gets out of office he'll have a fat portfolio like most Presidents before him. Money begets money.
 
2013-07-18 04:30:36 AM  
I'm fine with it as long as he rescues himself from any case where one of his investments is a party to.
 
2013-07-18 05:19:32 AM  
That's not how conflict of interest works.  Have fun with that rabbit-hole mindless speculation.
 
2013-07-18 05:22:02 AM  

mephox: This isn't the sort of thing I want my public representative doing.


The SCOTUS is not your public representative.
 
2013-07-18 05:27:07 AM  
"Show me where he made a decision that directly benefited..."Citizens United? *shrug*
 
2013-07-18 05:44:43 AM  
Scalia established some time ago that Real Murcan "Strict Constructionists" are above suspicion, and when caught with their hands in the cookie jar, simply say, "I'm honest, how can you possibly think that I would sway my decision for these cookies."
 
2013-07-18 05:54:18 AM  
Good for him. Just because someone works in government doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to invest in the stock market.
 
2013-07-18 06:05:50 AM  

Lando Lincoln: At least Alito never worked for any of those companies.

Justice Thomas is a blah man

Real class act, there, Justice Thomas.


We see how it is
 
2013-07-18 06:13:28 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Should legislators and judges be forced to give up any investments they've made over the years?

If we're going to do that, why not all government workers? Why draw a line at all? Maybe we shouldn't be able to invest at all in companies we buy products or use services of.

The right answer to someone getting worked up about a Justice owning a stock portfolio is So What.


what if you were a business owner and had a case before the court where you were suing a competitor and the judge just happened to have a lot of money invested in that company?
 
2013-07-18 06:18:28 AM  
Our system is broken but no one seems to care on any real level. I include myself since I have no idea on how to change it and I don't really feel like being the first guy to put my neck on the line. Unity would be nice, but we're divided right down the middle.
 
2013-07-18 06:22:18 AM  

themindiswatching: Yawn. Not news.

/because our entire farking government does it. Damn it all.


This stuff always makes me think of an old South American kleptocracy, where those reaching a certain level of power are just expected to help themselves to whatever they can get away with. Inside deals are common and acceptable in Congress, as is the "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" revolving door between business and politics. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with people making a buck. But blatantly using your position of public trust to enrich yourself seems to be the new norm.

The court system is in an especially unique position. Judges, more than any other public officials, are expected to be impartial and uncorrupted by outside influence. If Alito wants to be a millionaire, more power to him. But does anyone really expect him to be impartial, or to recuse himself, from a case in which he may have a direct financial stake? If a case involving Boeing, Oracle, or Chevron comes before the court (and given the size and influence of these entities, and Alito's likely long future on the Court, this is very possible), will he do the right thing and step aside? Is anyone still naive enough to believe he will?
 
2013-07-18 06:24:23 AM  

Hobodeluxe: AverageAmericanGuy: Should legislators and judges be forced to give up any investments they've made over the years?

If we're going to do that, why not all government workers? Why draw a line at all? Maybe we shouldn't be able to invest at all in companies we buy products or use services of.

The right answer to someone getting worked up about a Justice owning a stock portfolio is So What.

what if you were a business owner and had a case before the court where you were suing a competitor and the judge just happened to have a lot of money invested in that company?


In a case like that the judge would simply recuse himself. In the case of a supreme court justice, I guess he would have to sell his stock in the company before he got involved.
 
2013-07-18 06:31:08 AM  
How you little people doing?
/should have invested in Halliburton in 2003
 
2013-07-18 06:55:46 AM  

ReapTheChaos: Hobodeluxe: AverageAmericanGuy: Should legislators and judges be forced to give up any investments they've made over the years?

If we're going to do that, why not all government workers? Why draw a line at all? Maybe we shouldn't be able to invest at all in companies we buy products or use services of.

The right answer to someone getting worked up about a Justice owning a stock portfolio is So What.

what if you were a business owner and had a case before the court where you were suing a competitor and the judge just happened to have a lot of money invested in that company?

In a case like that the judge would simply recuse himself. In the case of a supreme court justice, I guess he would have to sell his stock in the company before he got involved.


lol
 
2013-07-18 06:59:34 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Should legislators and judges be forced to give up any investments they've made over the years?

If we're going to do that, why not all government workers? Why draw a line at all? Maybe we shouldn't be able to invest at all in companies we buy products or use services of.

The right answer to someone getting worked up about a Justice owning a stock portfolio is So What.


Proof again, the average American guy is not very bright.
 
2013-07-18 07:02:11 AM  
Given that the general rule for judges is that managed funds are kosher because an uninvolved party is making the picks/trades, I'm gonna have to continue to not give a shiat.
 
2013-07-18 07:06:59 AM  

Teiritzamna: Given that the general rule for judges is that managed funds are kosher because an uninvolved party is making the picks/trades, I'm gonna have to continue to not give a shiat.


THIS.

Is subby suggesting that government employees (especially those involved in writing contracts) cough up their 401k?
 
2013-07-18 07:19:31 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: I'd fully support a law banning government employees from investing in corporations in which there official role could effect the business of said corporations.  I'd also be all for a law banning government employees from taking private sector jobs in industries that were related to their official role for at least ten years after leaving office.


What kind if pension plan exists for Justices? I would agree with a plan like that but ONLY for positions where a federal pension is more than sufficient and not able to be touched by congress in the future.
 
2013-07-18 07:23:45 AM  
It's an issue when people go into public office a bit wealthy and come out staggeringly so.  Legal insider trading, etc.

This is why the whole thing needs to be wiped clean.
 
2013-07-18 07:24:26 AM  
At least Elder Bush put his assets into a blind trust. Not that that would have stopped him from benefitting the oil industry and knowing his assets were there.
 
2013-07-18 07:26:04 AM  

Oktoberain: "Show me where he made a decision that directly benefited..."Citizens United? *shrug*


This current Supreme Court majority has been handing big business legally dubious blowjobs constantly. It's not one decision, it's every decision. Those standing and technical cases you don't care about because the impacts are hard to understand? They have made it much, much harder to sue corporations for everything from human rights violations to labor law to environmental violations... Well, everything really. It's virtually impossible to form a big class action now. Public interest suits went the way of the dodo ages ago. They've also spent time limiting what government regulators are allowed to do to businesses.

There's no specific conflict of interest, but decisions like that do help corporations earn more money by screwing us over in illegal and immoral ways and keeping anybody from doing anything about it. Really though, this crap is ideological, not corruption. Stop electing farking Republicans.
 
2013-07-18 07:26:32 AM  
The majority of the judges are millionaires, so I don't see this as being too much of a surprise. It would be difficult to get that rich outside of the industry and not have investments in some big corporations.
 
2013-07-18 07:29:19 AM  

cptjeff: Really though, this crap is ideological, not corruption. Stop electing farking Republicans.


Meh, we need more than 2 options for that to work. Since the GOP is so farked that means the Democrats don't have to do much to look good in comparison. We're trapped in our current system, nothing really changes, it just means it's slightly less farky when Democrats are in power. Like I said, the bar is low in the 2 party situation since we'll just go back and forth between the two over and over.
 
2013-07-18 07:31:10 AM  
So what? He's an intelligent, 63 year-old man who's been steadily and well-employed for 40+ years. I'd be more concerned if he didn't have a couple million in investments.
 
2013-07-18 07:31:47 AM  

Lando Lincoln: At least Alito never worked for any of those companies.

Justice Thomas used to work for Monsanto, and did not recuse himself over a case in which Monsanto was one of the parties.

Real class act, there, Justice Thomas.


Justice Thomas has the strength of will and character to sit in judgement of a case without being influenced by self-interest.

Your slanderous assumptions about him indicate that it is you who are corrupt.

Also, you are the real racist.
 
2013-07-18 07:32:18 AM  

Parthenogenetic: Justice Thomas has the strength of will and character to sit in judgement of a case without being influenced by self-interest.


I LOLed.
 
2013-07-18 07:33:27 AM  

timswar: TuteTibiImperes: I'd fully support a law banning government employees from investing in corporations in which there official role could effect the business of said corporations.  I'd also be all for a law banning government employees from taking private sector jobs in industries that were related to their official role for at least ten years after leaving office.

What kind if pension plan exists for Justices? I would agree with a plan like that but ONLY for positions where a federal pension is more than sufficient and not able to be touched by congress in the future.


Full salary until death, unless impeached. Way better than Members of Congress, but full salary for a SCOTUS Justice is about half the salary of the President, which is about what Presidents get for their pension.

That arises out of the Constitution- you can't Constitutionally decrease a judge's pay, since that could be used to punish them for unpopular decisions. As a public policy matter, if you didn't provide them the same salary after retirement, you'd just have judges decaying on the bench even more than they are already, so you have an incentive for them to retire or take senior status and make room for new minds.
 
2013-07-18 07:35:31 AM  
Meh, SC Justices make quite a bit of money, about $220,000 per year. If you own a nice house in DC or Montgomery County, your net worth is probably well over $1 million.

I'm sure his investments are in some sort of blind trust that he doesnt' even control.
 
2013-07-18 07:36:01 AM  
I hate Alito as much as the next guy. He's a smarmy jerk. But I still don't see anything wrong with this. He's got investments. His net worth soared? The range the article gives is pretty broad. The market rebounded. My wife tripled the money she invested in 2010 to now. We didn't invest much because we don't make as much money as a federal judge with a law school gig on the side, but our investments still had a great return. I'm not at all surprised by this.

/still a smarmy jerk
 
2013-07-18 07:41:22 AM  
So he invested in Aerospace, Heaving Industry, Oil, and Pharma., so pretty much everything, like everyone else.  The list of people that didn't make money in the market is larger.
 
2013-07-18 07:42:52 AM  

TheJoe03: cptjeff: Really though, this crap is ideological, not corruption. Stop electing farking Republicans.

Meh, we need more than 2 options for that to work. Since the GOP is so farked that means the Democrats don't have to do much to look good in comparison. We're trapped in our current system, nothing really changes, it just means it's slightly less farky when Democrats are in power. Like I said, the bar is low in the 2 party situation since we'll just go back and forth between the two over and over.


Okay, slightly more detail: Stop electing farking republicans until they move away from being corporate whores (and have sane platforms in other regards). The 2 party system is what it is because of game theory- it's the only stable solution to a winner takes all system. But a 2 party system does not dictate what issues the 2 parties care about, they change internally. You've largely seen the Democratic party move away from pro-corporate agendas, the Elizabeth Warrens of the party are on the rise, the Joe Liebermans are being none too gently shoved out the door. There isn't some rule saying Republicans have to be extremist corporate jackasses.
 
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