The WSJ.com Law Blog posts today about possible remedies for the problem of recusal of Supreme Court Justices due to stock ownership in one of the parties, noting that Chief Justice Robert’s recent recusal from a case resulted in a “problematic even-numbered panel” that rendered a 4-4 decision in Warner-Lambert Co., LLC v. Kent, case no. 06-1498 (Mar. 3, 2008). The Law Blog links to this post at The Volokh Conspiracy, where Professor Volokh floats the idea of requiring justices to sell stock in a party upon the granting of certiorari.
The availability of designated justices may make this seem like a moot consideration for our own Supreme Court, but keep in mind that the California Supreme Court dismissed a case last year because four of the seven justices had developed conflicts (through corporate mergers occurring after the grant of review). Would selling off the stock have been adequate to remove the conflicts?