Justice Breyer’s wife sells Nestle stock

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The wife of U.S. Justice Stephen Breyer has sold her holdings in food and drink company Nestle to allow the justice to participate in a case involving a company that Nestle recently bought.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says Joanna Breyer sold the stock Wednesday morning, shortly before the justices were to take the bench to hear arguments.

The justice’s most recent financial report shows Breyer owned $15,000 to $50,000 in Switzerland-based Nestle stock as of the end of 2010.

All federal judges are prohibited by law from taking part in cases in which they own even a single share of stock in one of the parties.

The company in Wednesday’s case is Prometheus Laboratories. Nestle bought it in July, but its lawyers neglected to tell the court until Tuesday.