Two leading Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are demanding explanations from Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito as to why he did recuse himself from a 2002 case involving Vanguard since he held at least $390,000 in the company's funds, The Globe reports. Alito promised the Senate in 1990 that he would remove himself from any such case since he owned Vanguard mutual funds. 

"It is a legitimate and serious issue to be raised, and I think his explanation is going to be extremely important," said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Va.).

Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who is also questioning Alito, notes that so far, the White House has given two explanations as to why Alito participated in the case: first, that there was a computer glitch that failed to call the potential conflict of interest to Alito's attention, and second, that his financial interest was not significant enough to warrant that he step aside.

But according to Leahy, "It has to go well beyond a computer glitch."

Chief Circuit Judge Anthony J. Scircia told The Globe he was unaware of Alito's 1990 pledge was unknown to him, but that he did not think that Alito should have been removed from the case, "I didn't think then and I don't think now that it was necessary to recuse," Scirica said.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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