Power Play

Justice Breyer's Wife Sells Nestle Stock

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has sold her holdings in Nestle, the food and drink company, to allow the justice to participate in a case involving a company Nestle recently bought.

Joanna Breyer sold the stock Wednesday morning, shortly before the justices were to begin hearing arguments, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg.

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.

Federal law prohibits all federal judges 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 May, but its lawyers neglected to tell the court until Tuesday.