While America Struggles Economically, Judges Host Hawaiian Conference That Could Exceed $1 Million

May 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm (9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Alex Kozinski, Chuck Grassley, Economy, GSA, Hawaii, Jeff Sessions, Zumba)

Republicans are blasting the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for planning a conference which could exceed $1 million in expenses.  The National Review calls the 9th Circuit, “That bastion of Left Coast legal liberalism”, and explains that the conference is being labeled as a meeting to discuss “the business of the courts and advising means of improving the administration of justice within the circuit.”

For some reason, such a meeting must be held in a posh resort in Maui, and must feature golf and tennis tournaments, Zumba dance lessons, surfing and yoga.

A group of judges dancing to Zumba at a $1 million clip.  This is ‘the business of the courts’?

From the Hill:

Two senior Senate Republicans on Monday blasted plans by judges in the 9th Circuit to hold a conference in Hawaii this August that they said could run up a tab of $1 million or more, and includes a schedule of sport fishing, yoga, surfing lessons and Zumba dancing lessons.

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) last week wrote to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski to warn that the Hawaii meeting does not appear to fit with the 9th Circuit’s own opinion that the federal budget is tight. The letter was sent just weeks after Republicans took the General Services Administration (GSA) to task for a notorious $800,000 conference that led several GSA officials to resign.

“We are concerned about the overall cost of this conference and do not believe that discussions about the administration of justice would be less successful were they held somewhere other than a spa and resort in Hawaii,” the senators wrote. The letter adds that while conference organizers note that government funds are not to be used for recreation, the conference program “reads more like a vacation than a business trip to discuss the means of improving the administration of justice.”

According to a website announcing the conference, the meeting is authorized by law to consider “the business of the courts and advising means of improving the administration of justice within the circuit.” According to the schedule, it opens Sunday, Aug. 12, with a golf tournament, and includes a tennis tournament on Tuesday and an ice cream social and garden tour on Wednesday, among various meetings and panels held at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa.

Read the rest here… 

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