Senator Queries Judicial Conferences in Time of Austerity

, The National Law Journal


Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wrote to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts last week asking about what he considered lavish accommodations at judicial conferences and courthouse construction, and questioning why that money couldn’t go to the suffering federal public defenders instead.

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What's being said

  • Avon

    A judicial conference at The Greenbrier may cost $270 per night per person, but that's still a fraction of one-tenth of one percent of what the Judiciary lost by sequestration ... and judicial conferences probably provide an improvement of several percent in the collective knowledge, refreshed energy and improved efficiency of the Judiciary back on the job for another year. Judicial conferences were conceived for useful purposes, and have never been considered just a perk.

    And isn't the Greenbrier an all-inclusive place? If the $270 includes meals and other standard amenities, and well-equipped conference rooms both large and small are also needed, even a motel isn't going to end up much cheaper. Noplace is going to offer a crowd that size much of a discount during peak vacation months, and for the courts to go on hiatus at other times would impair case management much worse.

    I can't see Coburn's comments as anything but ignorant or ideological cheap shots.

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