Senate Ramps Up Pressure on Ninth Circuit over 'Maui Wowie' Conference

Republican Senators Jeff Sessions, Budget Committee Ranking Member and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley have fired off a scathing letter to Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The letter pertains to Kozinki's "troubling" response to several detailed questions on the 9th Circuit's increasingly infamous million dollar "Maui Wowie" meeting still planned for August 13 - 16 in Maui, Hawaii.

"We find your answer unsatisfactory," they wrote. "We invite and encourage you, once again, to take the necessary steps to cancel or at least scale back this Conference."

The letter pointed out that attendees do not appear to be required to attend any official events while on the island and addressed what it terms "several troubling aspects" of Kozinski's response.

"At a time when the American taxpayers have been required to tighten their belts, it would seem only appropriate that the American judiciary, while spending money provided by those taxpayers, would be required to do so as well."

Grassley and Sessions stated that the meeting's general session topics "do not seem focused on improving the administration of justice" and that Kozinski was "sidestepping" a previous request for the documentation of expenditures.

The letter asked Kozinski, with a firm and detailed request, for information relative to 9th Circuit conferences held, or planned, from 2008 to 2013. In conclusion, Grassley and Sessions reminded Kozinski that the authorization for judicial conferences is the province of Congress. The Senators reiterated their call for Kozinski to cancel, or at least scale back his Maui vacation for over 500 individuals at taxpayer expense.

The entire letter is available below.

conference to be cancelled

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