Justice Kennedy Fires Back At Senators criticising The Ninth Circuit's Maui Conference

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Congress might have a problem with it but Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is totally fine with the Nine Circuit’s decision to hold its conference in Maui.The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has caused some controversy with its decision to hold its mid-August all-circuit conference in such a tropical spot that’s normally reserved for romantic getaways or family vacations.

But Kennedy thinks everyone just needs to chill out.

“We, in the judiciary, are proud that we are men and women of serious purpose,” he said Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog. “If theĀ American public knows, and they should know, of what we do at this conference, they would be and should be immensely proud.”

Budget and Judiciary committee members Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions and Charles E. Grassley are chastising the court about the conference’s possible $1-million bill, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The conference, according to the senators, “reads more like a vacation than a business trip to discuss the means of improving the administration of justice.”

Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski responded to criticism by apologizing for not knowing the economy would tank back in 2010, when the court signed a contract with the Hyatt Regency Maui, ABA Journal reported last week.

“In hindsight, had we foreseen the nation’s current fiscal problems, we may have chosen a different site for this year’s conference … we remain convinced that the conference will improve the administration of justice within the circuit,” Kozinski wrote in a letter to Sessions and Grassley.

The court’s conference is scheduled for Aug. 13 through Aug. 16. Currently, hotel room rates for August are hovering around $330.

All of the circuit’s judges, including everyone from the appellate court to the bankruptcy court, are expected to attend the conference, according to ABA Journal.

Courts are legally allowed to hold circuit conferences.

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