Alito No Longer Recused From Aereo Case

The conservative Supreme Court justice will join the rest of the bench next week in reviewing the right to stream broadcast TV online.

National Journal
Dustin Volz
Add to Briefcase
Dustin Volz
April 16, 2014, 2:05 p.m.

Su­preme Court Justice Samuel Alito is no longer re­cus­ing him­self from an im­port­ant case re­view­ing the right to stream tele­vi­sion pro­grams on­line, the Court an­nounced Monday.

The de­cision came without ex­plan­a­tion. Alito has his­tor­ic­ally re­cused him­self from pre­lim­in­ary or­ders the Court has is­sued con­cern­ing the case, ABC v. Aereo, pre­sum­ably be­cause he held stock in Walt Dis­ney Co. The move may sig­nal that Alito has elim­in­ated any fin­an­cial con­flicts of in­terest he pre­vi­ously pos­sessed.

This is not the first time fin­an­cial hold­ings have been an is­sue for Alito. The con­ser­vat­ive justice is­sued a rare apo­logy in 2011 for presid­ing over a case re­view­ing ex­plet­ives on tele­vi­sion that in­volved ABC, which is owned by Dis­ney. At the time Alito called the de­cision to hear that case “a mis­take,” though he ul­ti­mately voted with the ma­jor­ity against ABC and oth­er net­works.

Aereo uses clusters of tiny an­ten­nas to al­low cus­tom­ers to watch and re­cord broad­cast TV on their com­puters, mo­bile devices, and In­ter­net-powered TVs for a monthly fee. Tele­vi­sion broad­casters say Aereo is steal­ing their con­tent, but the video site claims it’s just mak­ing it easi­er to ac­cess over-the-air tele­vi­sion. 

The Su­preme Court will hear ar­gu­ments next Tues­day. By re­join­ing the case, Alito has elim­in­ated the pos­sib­il­ity of a 4-4 tie, which would have al­lowed a lower court de­cision sid­ing with Aereo to stand. 

The Court also an­nounced Monday that Alito was no longer re­cused from POM Won­der­ful v. Cola-Cola, a case also be­ing heard next week ex­amin­ing truth­ful la­beling re­quire­ments of fruit juices.

What We're Following See More »
STATES HOPE TO FILE IN D.C. CIRCUIT
Twenty-One States Sue FCC Over Net Neutrality Repeal
32 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

Twenty-one states, the District of Columbia and several public interest groups filed the first major lawsuits Tuesday to block the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules. The FCC's rules had prohibited Internet providers from slowing down or blocking websites. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the states' suit, said that the FCC’s repeal was “arbitrary” and “capricious” and violates federal law. The suit comes just a day after Democrats in the Senate said they were inching closer to acquiring the votes needed to pass legislation overturning the FCC's rule change. It has garnered the support of all 49 Democratic senators as well as one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

Source:
BELIEVED RESPONSIBLE FOR AGENTS’ DEATHS
Ex-CIA Officer Arrested for Assisting China
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"A former C.I.A. officer suspected of helping China identify the agency’s informants in that country has been arrested, the Justice Department said on Tuesday. Many of the informants were killed in a systematic dismantling of the C.I.A.’s spy network in China starting in 2010 that was one of the American government’s worst intelligence failures in recent years, several former intelligence officials have said. The arrest of the former agent, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, capped an intense F.B.I. investigation that began around 2012 after the C.I.A. began losing its informants in China."

Source:
ZINKE REFUSED TO MEET WITH THEM
Park Service Panel Resigns En Masse
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service abruptly quit Monday night out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year. The resignation of nine out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration."

Source:
WOULD ALSO DELAY OBAMACARE TAXES
GOP Leaders Dangle CHIP Fix to Avert Shutdown
12 hours ago
THE LATEST

"House GOP leaders on Tuesday night pitched a new strategy to avert a looming government shutdown that includes children's health funding and the delay of ObamaCare taxes. Lawmakers need to pass a short-term stopgap bill by midnight Friday, when money for the federal government runs out. The latest GOP plan would keep the government’s lights on through Feb. 16, and be coupled with a six-year extension of funding for the popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The continuing resolution or CR would also delay ObamaCare's medical device and Cadillac taxes for two years, and the health insurance tax for one year starting in 2019."

Source:
NO DACA DEAL = NO SPENDING DEAL?
With Deadline Approaching, Lawmakers Sounding Notes of Pessimism
15 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A key Senate negotiator and White House official on Tuesday expressed little hope for an immigration deal this week but nonetheless predicted that Congress can avoid a government shutdown." Marc Short, the White House Capitol Hill liaison, said he's optimistic about a deal on DACA overall, but not this week. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn also said he doubts an agreement can be made before week's end.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login