Close Menu

Supreme Court judge accused of bias in Bud Light backlash

The right-wing backlash over last spring’s Bud Light promotion with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney has reached the precincts of the US Supreme Court.

Not because America’s ultimate interpreters of its constitution have been asked to rule on any aspect of AB InBev’s actions in promoting the-then nation’s best-selling beer brand, but because a judge has been accused of using the subsequent boycott to show political bias.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito sold between $1,000 and $15,000 of AB InBev stock on August 14 last year and on the same day bought the same number of shares in arch rival Molson Coors.

The transactions have triggered fresh accusations that Alito, one of the high court’s six conservatives, is engaging in or aligning with partisan politics, despite a recently adopted code of conduct that directs the justices to “refrain from political activity.”


The significance of the allegations is that Alito and the eight other Supreme Court judges may be called upon for rulings on the actions of former President Donald Trump in the run up to this year’s race for the White House.

They may even have to rule on whether Trump should be barred from running for election.

He is also accused of flying the Stars and Stripes upside down at his home in January 2021 just after President Biden had been inaugurated.

That is a symbol associated with Trump’s claims of election fraud and when his supporters stormed the Capitol that month many of the rioters were carrying similarly inverted flags and chanting slogans such as “Stop the Steal.”

Supreme Court justices cannot be dismissed but they can be pressured to recuse themselves from individual cases.


The row is unlikely to affect Bud or Coors but Alito’s judgement is being called into question. When he sold the stock in Anheuser-Busch InBev, it was worth around $56 a share in the wake of the boycott last year.

Today the stock stands at just over $66.28 a share.

By contrast Molson Coors was trading at $64.48 when Alito bought the company’s stock last year but now stand at just over $55 a share.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No