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Judges' seminars

For 14 years, judges have been attending conferences given by the Bozeman, Mont.-based Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, a group which espouses free-market environmentalism but includes a wide range of views in its panels. Now the left-wing Community Rights Counsel has succeeded in driving three federal judges off FREE's board by filing dubious ethics charges against them. Notes the W$J, about FREE's program: "In fact, such seminars are common, and useful. Groups ranging from Ivy League universities to bar associations to the Aspen Institute routinely host them. So do trial lawyers, who then pitch new litigation strategies -- not that Mr. Kendall [Doug Kendall of the CRC] seems concerned about those seminars. Because the sponsors often reimburse judges for their expenses, the U.S. Judicial Conference's Codes of Conduct Committee long ago established guidelines for attendance." Judges take note: the emerging rule seems to be that attending seminars is still going to be fine, so long as the organizers adhere to the correct viewpoints. (Update Jun. 15: ethics charge against judge rejected as unfounded).



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.