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Roberts’ holdings included with close ties to the Kremlin, and Tesla Motors, whose counsel Michael Rhodes is Facebook’s lead litigator in Leader v. Facebook (Cooley Godward LLP—whose "Man in The White House" is Donald K. Stern)

Analysis | AMERICANS FOR INNOVATION | Updated Jan. 13, 2014

(June 10, 2012)— just published new judicial financial disclosures. This is the first opportunity to scrutinize the holdings of the Supreme Court justices in relation to their refusal to grant Leader Technologies’ petition for writ of certiorari (appeal) in Leader v. Facebook.

An analysis of each justices’ holdings is underway, but given what we have discovered already, this is going to be another sordid chapter in the Leader v. Facebook judicial corruption scandal.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. had what can only be considered massive conflicts of interest. This means he should have disqualified himself. But instead, he silently denied Leader’s petition. Now we know why. Just one of his holdings, Fidelity Contrafund, is currently generating him a 15.3% annual return. This fund is notoriously invested in Facebook, as this article describes “Fidelity Invests $74 Million in Facebook & $82 Million in Zynga,” BostInno, June 2, 2011.[04] Another holding in T. Rowe Price has also been heavily publicized: “T. Rowe Price Invests in Facebook.” The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 16, 2011.[05] In fact, T. Rowe Price's Facebook holding based on their $190.5 million investment was so large it was a required disclosure in Facebook's public offering documents.

Here's what Judge Roberts said and/or affirmed to Congress between September 12–15, 2005 in his confirmation hearings.
"A judge should inform himself about his personal and fiduciary financial interests"
28 U.S.C. § 455(c) Disqualification of justice, judge
"A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety"
Code of Conduct for United States Judges, Canon 2
"ROBERTS: ...If confirmed, I would resolve any conflict of interest by looking to the letter and spirit of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges . . . the Ethics Reform Act of 1989, 28 U.S.C. § 455, and any other relevant prescriptions."
S. Hrg. 109-158, Roberts Nomination Hrgs., p. 118.[01]
"ROBERTS: ...Well, I don't think special interests should be allowed to lobby federal judges."
S. Hrg., p. 431.
"KYL: ...Judge Roberts, I expect you to adhere to the Code of Judicial Ethics."
S. Hrg., Statement of Hon. Jon Kyl, p. 20.
On threats to the rule of law, "ROBERTS: ...The one threat I think to the rule of law is a tendency on behalf of some judges to take that legitimacy and that authority and extend it into areas where they're going beyond the interpretation of the Constitution."
S. Hrg., p. 256.
"ROBERTS: ...[The Soviet Constitution] purported to grant wonderful rights of all sorts to people, but those rights were empty promises because that system did not have an independent judiciary to uphold the rule of law and enforce those rights. We do, because of the wisdom of our Founders and the sacrifices of our heroes over the generations to make their vision a reality."
S. Hrg., p. 56; See also p. 447.
"ROBERTS: ...I became a lawyer, to promote and vindicate the rule of law."
S. Hrg., p. 447.
All Fidelity Fund investments by Supreme Court justices and District Court Judge Leonard P. Stark, 2011

Here is what Judge Roberts did in Leader v. Facebook. The following table summarizes Justice Robert’s holdings with direct ties to Facebook that indicate bias and at least deserved disclosure before he ruled on Leader v. Facebook’s petition.

It should also be noted that Judge Roberts is yet another Harvard graduate and former editor of the Harvard Law Review, as were Barack Obama and Thomas J. Kim. As SEC Chief Counsel, Kim gave Facebook a 500-shareholder rule exemption that opened the investing floodgates to $$$ billions in dubious Russian investments (Roberts holds stock in one of them, Kim's former law firm Latham & Watkins LLP represented James W. Breyer, Accel Partners LLP. Judge Kimberly A. Moore's husband Matthew J. Moore how works at Latham & Watkins LLP. Other Harvard graduates in the Facebook cabal are Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein; Accel Partners' James W. Breyer, Ping Li and Jim Swartz; JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, former Obama bailout director Larry Summers, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, NY U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, among others.

Is it just me, or am I missing Justice Roberts' avoidance of impropriety? He said he believed in the "spirit" and not just the "letter" of the judicial ethics rule. That spirit (and case law) says, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, even if you it is not a duck, back off and disqualify yourself.

Why Chief Justice John G. Roberts had a duty to disqualify himself in Leader v. Facebook[02]
Source: Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. “Financial Disclosure Report for Calendar Year 2011, submitted  05/11/2012, published 06/07/2013 <>; Also online at Scribd.


Stock Holding

Relationship to Facebook


$205,440 (in 2005)[03]
  • Large Facebook shareholder
Fidelity Contrafund Fund "K"

$43,776 (in 2005)
Source: Roberts Senate Confirmation Hearings, pp. 137, 138.
  • N/A
  • Shareholder CEO, Reid Hoffman, is a Facebook shareholder and director
  • Shareholder Goldman Sachs, is Facebook’s underwriter
  • LinkedIn’s outside counsel, Cooley Godward LLP, is Facebook litigator in Leader v. Facebook
  • Shareholder Reid Hoffman is a Facebook shareholder and director
  • Shareholder Peter Thiel, is a Facebook shareholder and director
  • Shareholder Andreessen Horowitz (Marc Andreessen), is a Facebook shareholder and director
  • Andreessen Horowitz is advised by Lawrence "Larry" Summers whose protégés Sheryl Sandberg and Yuri Milner are large investors and officers of Facebook and Digital Sky Technologies, respectively
  • Shareholder, Clarium Capital (Peter Thiel), is a Facebook shareholder and director
  • Shareholder Digital Sky Technologies (Yuri Milner, Alisher Asmanov), are the 2nd largest Facebook shareholder and close to the Kremlin)
  • Shareholder, Morgan Stanley, is a Facebook underwriter
  • Shareholder T. Rowe Price, is a greater than 5% shareholder in Facebook.
  • Large Facebook shareholder
Fidelity Low Priced Stock "K" Fund

$319,187 (in 2005)
  • Large Facebook shareholder
  • Patent holder that Facebook is attempting for a 4th time to use to try and invalidate Leader’s patent at the  USPTO (after three previous failed attempts)
  • Dr. Saul Greenberg, Facebook’s expert witness in Leader v. Facebook, was formerly employed at PARC Xerox, Palo Alto, CA and his friends and colleagues are named on the patents being asserted against Leader. [06]
Fidelity Spartan 500 Index INST

No holding in 2005


  • Large Facebook shareholder
Goldman Sachs
  • Facebook underwriter; recipient of bailout funds managed by Lawrence “Larry” Summers, Obama’s bailout director
State Street Corp
  • Facebook / Goldman Sachs partner in global ATM systems; recipient of bailout funds managed by Lawrence “Larry” Summers, Obama’s bailout director
T. Rowe Price Group
  • Large Facebook shareholder
Applied Materials
  • Large Obama donor
First Solar
  • Recipient of $3 billion in Obama loan guarantees
Fidelity Growth Company "K" Fund

No holding in 2005
  • N/A

  • Large Facebook shareholder (Yuri Milner, Oligarch Alisher Asmanov); ties to Kremlin
  • CEO (Reid Hoffman) is a Facebook director
  • Shareholder Goldman Sachs is a Facebook underwriter
  • Chief counsel is Cooley Godward LLP, Facebook's litigator in Leader v. Facebook
Tesla Motors
  • Recipient of $465 million in Obama stimulus; CEO Elon Musk was a principal in PayPal (Facebook principals Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, James W. Breyer, Matt Cohler)
  • Michael Rhodes, Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, Chief Counsel; litigator in Leader v. Facebook
T. Rowe Price Group
  • Large Facebook shareholder
J.P. Morgan Chase Group
  • Facebook underwriter
TR Price SCi & Tech Fund

$9,544 (in 2005)
  • N/A
First Solar
  • Recipient of $3 billion in Obama loan guarantees
  • Large Facebook shareholder
  • Shareholder Accel Partners is Facebook’s 2nd largest shareholder, directors, that netted over $6 billion on Day 3 of the IPO
  • Shareholder Digital Sky Technologies (Yuri Milner, Alisher Asmanov) is Facebook’s 3rd largest shareholder; has close ties to the Kremlin
  • Shareholder Morgan Stanley is a large Facebook shareholder and underwriter
  • Shareholder Andreessen Horowitz (Marc Andreessen and Lawrence “Larry” Summers) is a large Facebook director and shareholder
Applied Material
  • Large Obama donor
TR Price Prime Res Fund

$2,060 (in 2005)
Goldman Sachs
  • Large Facebook shareholder and underwriter
JP Morgan
  • Large Facebook shareholder and underwriter
Morgan Stanley
  • Large Facebook shareholder and underwriter
UBS Investment Bank
  • Large Facebook shareholder and underwriter


[01] S. Hrg. 109-158 - Hearings on the Nominations of John G. Roberts, Jr. to be Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, September 12–15, 2005. GPO Abstract | PDF | HTML Summary by Day.

[02] Collections. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, 2011 Facebook-related investments. Americans For Innovation, Jun. 11, 2013 <> (includes screen captures of the following Facebook-related companies who directly benefited from Justice Roberts' legal decisions in favor of Facebook in Leader v. Facebook: Accel Partners, IDG Capital Partners, Groupon, Zynga, Fidelity Growth Company K Fund, Fidelity Spartan 500 Index INST, Fidelity Contrafund Fund K, TR Price Prime Res Fund, TR Price SCi Tech Fund and Fidelity Low Priced Stock K Fund).

[03] S. Hrg. 109-158, supra. (Microsoft, p. 136; Fidelity Contrafund Fund "K," pp. 127, 137; Fidelity Low Priced Stock "K" Fund, pp. 127, 137; TR Price Prime Res Fund, p. 129, 137; TR Price SCi & Tech Fund, pp. 128, 137).

[06] ''Facebook's expert witness [Dr. Saul Greenberg] practiced 'dark arts.''' Origin of Facebook's technology? Aug. 23, 2011 <>.

If it walks and talks like a duck, it's probably a duck.


  1. Oh good lord. How many times is this blog going to repeat this lie? Direct from the U.S. Code:

    “financial interest” means ownership of a legal or equitable interest, however small, or a relationship as director, adviser, or other active participant in the affairs of a party, except that:
    (i) Ownership in a mutual or common investment fund that holds securities is not a “financial interest” in such securities unless the judge participates in the management of the fund

    There is no conflict. I have yet to see a SINGLE instance of any judge here having a financial interest outside of mutual fund holdings.

    1. The law on conflicts is that if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, and even if it is not a duck, recuse yourself.

      You quote the proof of your fallacy, which must be taken in the context of appearances in any event: "...unless the judge participates in the management of the fund." Look at the extent of these investments and tell us that the judge does not participate in the management of his funds. Now you are going to say it says "the fund' and not your fund. Typical Clintonian parsing.

      There are many decisions that say judges cannot hide their conflicts behind your Sgt. Shultz "I know nothing" excuses, especially in this situation where T.Rowe Price and Fidelity helped drive the Facebook IPO. And besides, unless you are Judge Roberts, how is it that you know about his investing conduct?

      You guys really do need a moral makeover if you think this sort of sneakiness is "avoiding impropriety."

      My bet is you are one of the schemeing attorneys that advised these judges that this sort of conduct was not a conflict. We'll see, won't we?

    2. And more fundamental misunderstanding of the law. "Participation in the management of the fund" refers to being in a position where you choose the securities that are held by the fund. You have to be an insider of the fund itself. There is no evidence that any of these judges sat on the boards of Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, etc.

      The logic of this blog would effectively bar just about every judge in the country from hearing any case involving a public company.

  2. Oh Really? So you are admitting that you are using your interpretation of a single provision of the many laws on judicial conflicts of interest, out of all other contexts and precedents, as the guiding light for avoiding impropriety. Your philosophy walks and talks like a duck. Reasonable people know better than to follow such sneakiness.

    You again hide behind your legal curtain rather than face facts in the public square. You have yet to face a single fact about Facebook's theft. All your arguments have been sneaky lawyer rhetoric, no facts. The facts condemn you and the real world is figuring that out.

  3. Also, your argument that judges could not hear cases if they actually had to pay attention to their investments for conflicts is absurd. First of all, the law says they must pay attention. In any event, other professions must pay attention to such conflicts, so what absolves judges from doing the same? There's even software that does this quickly. Also, huge law firms have this sophistry of "Chinese firewalls" which is a joke. Such a concept only works among honorable men and women. But we know better, don't we? Wink, wink. Perhaps the emergence of the mega law firm is part of our systemic societal problem with continuous moral upheaval. Which describes most lawyers you know: fix, create, solve, build, or argue, manipulate, overcharge?

    The fact is, the legal profession has devolved into a self-awarded class of privilege that thinks it is above the law. This circumstance was specifically addressed in the Constitution and must be adhered to going forward.

  4. This Craven guy reads the law with crooked lawyer glasses. Read this case:

    Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Lavoie, 475 US 813 - Supreme Court 1986 at 833

    "The violation of the Due Process Clause occurred when Justice Embry sat on this case, for it was then the danger arose that his vote and his views, potentially tainted by his interest in the pending Blue Cross suit, would influence the votes and views of his colleagues."

    Now let's substitute with "Judge Roberts" and "Fidelity Contrafund and T.Rowe Price."

    "The violation of the Due Process Clause occurred when Justice Roberts sat on this case, for it was then the danger arose that his vote and his views, potentially tainted by his interest in Fidelity Contrafund and T.Rowe Price, would influence the votes and views of his colleagues."

    Hmmmmm. Walks like a duck AND talks like a duck.,+475+US+813+-+Supreme+Court+1986&hl=en&as_sdt=3,36

  5. Comment by: Lisa


    As of Tuesday morning, Amazon sales of George Orwell's Dystopian novel 1984 had jumped 6,021 percent in just 24 hours, to No. 213 on Amazon's bestseller list. As NPR's Alan Greenblatt recently pointed out, many people have found uncomfortable resonances between Orwell's "Big Brother" state and the news that broke last week of U.S. government surveillance programs.

    I am reminded that this is exactly what Mike McKibben, Al Stern and Professor Hy Berman warned of:

    The world is following a pack of devils, it would appear.


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