Kennedy presses Alito on recusal matter

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) yesterday sent a letter to Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito asking him to detail why he did not recuse himself in a case involving Vanguard after promising Congress that he would do so.

Kennedy claims that when Alito was confirmed to the Third Circuit in 1990, the nominee's interests in various Vanguard Mutual Funds were substantial enough that he told the Judiciary Committee that he would disqualify himself from cases involving Vanguard companies.

Looking to clarify circumstances surrounding Alito's failure to recuse himself in a 2002 case involving Vanguard, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is seeking answers to several detailed questions on that case as well as the White House's rationale on Alito's actions.

Kennedy says the White House officials have issued two different statements on Alito's failure to recuse: first blaming a computer malfunction and then later saying that Alito's investments were insufficient to merit a recusal.