According to various reports, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito says his staff did not catch his Disney stock when vetting possible conflicts in his weighing in on the FCC's indecency enforcement regime.
Alito voted in support of the FCC regime and against the network challenges in Fox vs. FCC, so there was no suggestion his $2,000 stock holdings in Disney affected the decision. But if he had recued himself, the 5-4 vote would have been 4-4 and the lower court decision finding the FCC's indecency enforcement arbitrary and capricious would have stood.
The Court instead ruled the FCC had sufficiently justified its decision to pursue fleeting indecency and profanity.
Alito conceded in an AP interview that it was a mistake to participate in the case while also holding the stock. But apparently neither he nor his staff made the connection between that Disney stock and ABC, which is owned by Disney.
Alito has since sold the stock, according to various reports, and will not have potential conflicts if the Supreme Court decides to hear the FCC's appeal of a second finding by the same lower court that the FCC's indecency enforcement regime is an unconstitutional infringement on speech.
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