Some Supreme Court prospects have extensive corporate holdings, including shares in Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric and Microsoft and stock in a manufacturer that recalled lead-paint-coated "Flush & Sounds Potty" toilet seats.
Since businesses often land in court, a case involving a company in which a justice has financial ties could be trouble. If chosen for the high court, some potential nominees might have to step aside from certain cases or unload stocks to avoid ethical conflicts between their official duties and personal financial interests.
Among stocks held by people mentioned as President Barack Obama's possible picks to succeed retiring Justice David Souter:
_ Appellate Judges Diane Wood and Kim Wardlaw have reported they have stakes in Whole Foods Market Inc. The upscale grocer won permission from a federal appeals court in Washington in 2007 to buy rival organic grocer Wild Oats Markets despite the Federal Trade Commission's argument that the deal would stifle competition. To settle the commission's claims, Whole Foods agreed this year to sell several stores.
_ At least five Supreme Court prospects have disclosed stock in Zimmer Holdings Inc., a maker of artificial hips and knees that was investigated by federal prosecutors over allegations it paid doctors who used the products. Charges were dropped after Zimmer agreed to pay a fine and undergo monitoring.