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 »
President Trump today said he'll be releasing his tax reformpacakge next week around the 100-day mark of his presidency. He promised that "businesses and individuals will receive a 'massive tax cut ... bigger I believe than any tax cut ever."
Despite President Trump's announcement that his tax reform proposal would be released this week, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney now says it will be ready in June. This week's announcement will be limited to "specific governing principles."
Donald Trump is expected Monday to sign an executive order which will mark his administration's first action on offshore oil and gas drilling. The order is expected to call for a "review of the locations available for offshore oil and gas exploration and of certain regulations governing offshore oil and gas exploration."