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April 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Putting an end to discussions about the possibility of a tie vote by the Supreme Court in the legal battle between Aereo and broadcasters, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who previously had recused himself from participating in the case, has apparently decided to join the other eight members of the high court in doing so, SCOTUS Blog indicated on Wednesday. When Alito originally indicated his intention to step aside, it was presumed that either he or a close family member was an investor in Aereo or one of the broadcast networks. But on Wednesday, the Court informed the lawyers on both sides, without further explanation, that “Justice Alito is no longer recused in this case.” SCOTUS Blog, which tracks the activity of the high court, commented: “Presumably he has cleared up a conflict that had induced his recusal.” (He had previously indicated that his family owned stock in the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC.) A tie vote by the court would have amounted to a victory by Aereo since it would have left in place a lower-court order in Aereo’s favor. Broadcasters contend that Aereo’s service, which assigns a tiny antenna to each subscriber to send broadcast signals to them via the Internet, constitutes copyright theft.