First, two corrections. The GMU Law and Economics Center used to keep its donor list confidential, but now discloses its donors to comply with a rule passed by the Judicial Conference of the United States in 2005. Also, I quoted John Fund as stating that the bill provided a flat ban on attending private judicial education seminars. Now that Orin has located the text of the bill, it seems clear that judges can attend any seminar they want, so long as the pay their own way.
Finally, I thought it would be worth more specifically noting what the bill would be protecting judges from, at least with regard to George Mason's LEC. Here is a list of the judicial education seminars (those not co-sponsored with circuit or state court orgainzations) planned for 2008:
Lincoln as President
Culture and Markets
Mill On Liberty
The Federalist Papers
Economic Analysis of Law
Science in the Courts
According to the LEC website, "LEC programs are either five-day institutes or two-day colloquia. Our institutes feature 21 hours of lectures or seminars over five full days, with about 500-700 pages of readings. LEC colloquia are conducted seminar style, with 7.5 hours of class time and about 250-300 pages of readings." Furthermore,
Our curriculum, faculty, invitation list and acceptance policy are determined solely by full time professors at George Mason University School of Law. Our contract letter with lecturers enjoins them to stay away from hot-button topics such as affirmative action. As well, our lecturers do not talk about tobacco, asbestos litigation, environmental issues or the like. When we discovered that a corporate donor had asserted in 1999 that they viewed us as key allies, we returned its contribution (about 0.003 of our support).
Our reimbursement policy covers only reasonable expenses. We assume the costs of lodging and meals at the conference site (on average about $350 per diem), and also reimburse for travel expenses up to a maximum of $500. Spouses are welcome as auditors, but we do not reimburse for any of their expenses. We do not sponsor or subsidize any entertainment or recreational events at our programs, which are academically intensive and demanding. Shortly after each program, we send to all participating judges a statement of the dollar value of the hotel and meals expenses.
Related Posts (on one page):
- More on the Judicial Education Bill:
- The Strange Effort to Limit Judicial Education:
- Bill Aims to Prevent Federal Judges from Reading the Volokh Conspiracy: