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US Chief Justice John Roberts steps aside in patent case over stock conflict

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U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts will no longer participate in a patent dispute at the Supreme Court involving a unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc after he realized he owns about $175,000 of stock in the company, the court said on Wednesday.

The eight-justice court is weighing whether genetic-testing kits made by Thermo Fisher-owned Life Technologies Corp infringed upon patents held by Promega Corp.

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In a letter issued on Wednesday, Scott Harris, the clerk of the court, said Roberts belatedly learned that Life Technologies was owned by Thermo Fisher. The letter noted that “the ordinary conflict check conducted in the chief justice’s chamber’s inadvertently failed to find this potential conflict.”

Roberts will therefore step aside, meaning only seven of the court’s eight justices will decide the case, which was argued on Dec. 6.

Roberts’ 1,212 shares are worth around $175,000 based on the current share price of around $145.

Supreme Court justices routinely recuse themselves in cases involving companies in which they own stocks.

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(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by James Dalgleish)


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How the tyrant in the White House just took our government to a new depth of depravity

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To me, it feels ice-tinglingly creepy that the U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu in Washington wants to bring criminal charges against former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

The charge, basically that McCabe lied about a leak to a reporter, seems to come nowhere near close to supporting a criminal charge after 18 months of investigation, an expired grand jury and public humiliation for McCabe in firing him two days short of his professional resignation, killing off his pension. It seems that even a grand jury has decided not to react to the prosecution’s call for indictment.

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2020 Election

Beto O’Rourke’s call for mandatory buyback of assault weapons roils Texas politics

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The Democratic presidential candidate's proposal has upended the gun debate nationwide, but perhaps nowhere more dramatically than in Texas. It's here that both parties are facing internal divisions as they work to respond to recent shootings in El Paso and Odessa.

Beto O'Rourke may not be running for statewide office anymore, but it's been difficult to tell in recent days.

The Democratic presidential candidate's aggressive push for mandatory buybacks for assault weapons has upended the gun debate nationwide, but perhaps nowhere more dramatically than in Texas, where both parties are grappling with internal divisions of varying degrees as they react to recent mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa. For Republicans, O'Rourke has proven a unifying foil as they fracture over whether to expand background checks. For Democrats, his proposal represents something of a new litmus test that is already reverberating down ballot.

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Here are the five world leaders Trump spoke with just prior to the bombshell DNI whistleblower complaint

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Following up on the Washington Post's bombshell report about a phone call promise that Donald Trump made to a world leader which set off alarm bells and resulted in a whistleblower complaint from an intel official, CNN reported the names of five foreign leaders the president spoke with prior to the filing.

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