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Report: Supreme Court nominee Roberts owns stock in VoIP provider

A review of U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts stock portfolio was posted early this morning on the website of respected media industry publication Broadcasting & Cable magazine.

A review of U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts stock portfolio was posted early this morning on the website of respected media industry publication Broadcasting & Cable magazine.

The report shows that Roberts- currently a U.S. Circuit Court Judge- currently owns between $100,000 and $250,000 of Time Warner stock.

Time Warner Cable offers Time Warner Cable Digital Phone, and Time Warner's AOL is marketing AOL Internet Phone

Should Judge Roberts be confirmed, how his investment experience with these stocks will affect any VoIP or telephony rulings is unclear. As the article points out, Justices must recuse themselves from cases involving companies in which they own stock.

What's less certain is what he would do in cases that indirectly affect VoIP as an industry, rather than cases directly about specific companies. Matters like telephone deregulation issues that might make it tougher for independent VoIP providers to compete against those VoIP services that are offered by established phone and cable companies (such as Time Warner's Time-Warner Cable).

For the record, the report also says that Judge Roberts has smaller holdings in ABC-TV owner Disney, cable television equipment supplier Scientific-Atlanta, and Blockbuster Entertainment. I wonder if a Justice Roberts would have to recuse himself if a movie studio lawsuit against a competing peer-to-peer operation were to come up while he was on the bench.

U.S. Senate hearings on Judge Roberts' nomination are expected next month.