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Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. ruled in a 2002 case in favor of the Vanguard mutual fund company at a time when he owned more than $390,000 in Vanguard funds and later complained about an effort to remove him from the case, court records show -- despite an earlier promise to recuse himself from cases involving the company.
The White House, asked about the seeming contradiction between Alito's two statements, said that Alito was put on the case due to an error by a computer system that should have warned that he was taking a Vanguard-related case, because the investments were listed in the database.
Asked why Alito did not recuse himself after learning that it involved Vanguard, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino criticized those who are raising questions about Alito's actions.
In the 1990 questionnaire, Alito was asked how he would resolve potential conflicts of interest. He responded: I do not believe that conflicts of interest relating to my financial interests are likely to arise. I would, however, disqualify myself from any cases involving the Vanguard companies."