In a 1952 Supreme Court decision, the late Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote, “It is desirable to state why one takes himself out of a case.” The justices on the current Court, however, rarely if ever explain their reasons for recusal. This regular feature by Supreme Court correspondent Tony Mauro will report on justices’ recusal actions, offering possible explanations based on financial, family or other connections that are publicly known. This report includes recusals noted on the Court’s first order list of the new term, issued Oct. 2.

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. recused in the Court’s denial of review in Rationis Enterprises, et al. v. Hyundai Nipo Dockyard, et al. Among the hundreds of companies joining in the petition, which involves liability for a maritime disaster, is Lucent Technologies. Roberts reported in his latest financial disclosure form that he owns $15,000 or less in Lucent stock.

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