An unexpected bit of good news as we go into November. Bexis will be presenting at the Reed Smith annual client CLE program on big-deal pending cases. In preparation, he took a look at the SCOTUSBlog page for Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Albrecht, No 17-290 (that’s the Supreme Court name for In re Fosamax in the Third Circuit). There’s a new entry from last Friday: “Justice Alito is no longer recused in this case.” See also, from the Supreme Court’s official docket:
|Oct 26 2018||Justice Alito is no longer recused in this case.|
That’s good news for our side, because as we mentioned at the time certiorari was accepted:
We do note one unfortunate aspect of the order granting review: “Justice Alito took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition.” Since Justice Alito has historically supported preemption – he wrote the dissent in Wyeth v. Levine, 555 U.S. 555 (2009) – that means we’re short a vote.
Not any more. Our understanding, based on something we heard several years ago, is that Justice Alito at one time held stock in Merck. Evidently not any longer. While we’re not counting our chickens in Albrecht before they’ve hatched, we’re not playing a man short any longer, either. So we like our side’s chances in Albrecht even better now.