Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(58,725 posts)
Sat May 4, 2024, 01:03 PM May 4

NPR identifies gaps in the public disclosure reports for many judges who attended GMU legal seminars

Hat tip, Kingofalldems

Sat May 4, 2024, 12:25 PM: Looks like Judge Cannon in a bit of a pickle:

When judges get free trips to luxury resorts, disclosure is spotty

MAY 1, 2024 • 5:08 AM ET
By Tom Dreisbach, Carrie Johnson

Dozens of federal judges failed to fully disclose free luxury travel to judicial conferences around the world, as required by internal judiciary rules and federal ethics law, an NPR investigation has found. As a result, the public remained in the dark about potential conflicts of interest for some of the United States' top legal officials.


Events with ideological presentations and a side of luxury

Nonprofits, legal organizations and private universities all host judicial education events around the world. But those groups are generally not subject to public records laws. As a result, their full attendee lists are shielded from public scrutiny. ... When it comes to the hosts of these events, George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., is exceptional in two ways. {sic. The law school and the Law & Economics Center are at the Virginia Square Metrorail stop in Arlington, Virginia.}

For one, GMU — particularly the university's conservative-leaning Law & Economics Center — has long stood out as one of the most prolific hosts of judicial education events. Collectively, hundreds of judges have attended the university's events at luxury resorts over the years. GMU is quick to point out that the events are paid for by private donors. The Law & Economics Center's website lists donors that include major corporations like Amazon, Pfizer, Google and Facebook, as well as the business lobby group the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. According to the New York Times, conservative activist Leonard Leo helped gather $30 million in donations to rename the law school after late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

GMU is a public university in Virginia, which means it is subject to the state's Freedom of Information Act. NPR requested attendee lists for eight of its judicial education events from 2021 to 2023. By comparing attendee lists with the publicly available records, NPR was able to identify dozens of missing disclosures.

Luxury events for judges present disclosure problems

NPR identified gaps in the public disclosure reports for many judges who attended legal seminars hosted by George Mason University from 2021 to 2023. In some cases, judges failed to file disclosure reports on time or omitted reimbursements they received on an annual financial disclosure report. In others, a court’s administrative office had not made annual financial disclosures publicly available.

{snip the long list}

One recent event included a reading assignment on the "worst decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court" as defined by conservative and libertarian legal scholars. Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion, was No. 2. Landmark cases establishing rights to same-sex marriage and the use of birth control also appeared among the top 10 "worst" decisions.


Nick McMillan and Hilary Fung contributed reporting and visuals, with graphic editing by Alyson Hurt. This story was edited by Barrie Hardymon with research by Barbara Van Woerkom. Photo editing by Emily Bogle.
2 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
NPR identifies gaps in the public disclosure reports for many judges who attended GMU legal seminars (Original Post) mahatmakanejeeves May 4 OP
Not to be 'snippy' but is Judge Cannon on the list sanatanadharma May 4 #1
I don't know about GMU seminars. mahatmakanejeeves May 4 #2


(3,858 posts)
1. Not to be 'snippy' but is Judge Cannon on the list
Sat May 4, 2024, 01:42 PM
May 4

I read today elsewhere that she has legally failed to disclose some benefits she has received for some 'training' (my word).

Edit to add, this is what I saw


(58,725 posts)
2. I don't know about GMU seminars.
Sat May 4, 2024, 01:55 PM
May 4

In Kingofalldem's post, she is cited for not reporting trips to Wyoming.

I'm singling out GMU-sponsored conferences.

And good afternoon.

Latest Discussions»Region Forums»Virginia»NPR identifies gaps in th...