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.