Conflict of Interest: Ex Monsanto Lawyer Clarence Thomas to Hear Major Monsanto Case
By Doug Snodgrass
Celcias, March 11, 2010
Straight to the Source

In Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case which could have an enormous effect on the future of the American food industry. This is Monsanto’s third appeal of the case, and if they win a favorable ruling from the high court, a deregulated Monsanto may find itself in position to corner the markets of numerous U.S. crops, and to litigate conventional farmers into oblivion.

Here’s where it gets a bit dicier. Two Supreme Court justices have what appear to be direct conflicts of interest.

Stephen Breyer: Charles Breyer, the judge who ruled in the original decision of 2007 which is being appealed, is the brother of Stephen Breyer, who apparently views this as a conflict of interest and has recused himself.

Clarence Thomas: From the years 1976 – 1979, Thomas worked as an attorney for Monsanto. Thomas apparently does not see this as a conflict of interest and has not recused himself.

Fox, meet henhouse.

Read more.

2 Comments to “Ex-Monsanto lawyer Clarence Thomas won’t recuse himself from big Monsanto case”

  • Unfortunately for justice, this is not the first time that Justice Thomas has sat in on a case that has a clear conflict of interest.
    In 2005 lawyers for the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange – a chemical contaminated by Dioxin and manufactured by Monsanto and other U.S. companies – appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, an appeal that was denied. One of the Justice’s was Thomas. Although he had worked for Monsanto he refused to stand down from the case, a decision that was a disgrace to justice, and so he continues to act today in the same fashion.
    That must be action to stop such procedures.
    Len Aldis. Secretary
    Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society

  • […] kind of ethical violation) and not recusing himself from a case involving his former employers, Monsanto, where he worked as a lawyer.  Yet there has been no rallying cry against this Supreme Court […]

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