A retired judge in California wants the government to pay judges to attend a conference that has become little more than a political playground.
In an email to the Administrative Office of the Courts, retired L.A. Judge Charles Horan claims he heard the office will “reimburse for up to $300 for appellate justices to attend the next CJA conference. Is that true?”
The California Judges Association’s annual conference has basically become a “front in the larger conflict over the bureaucracy’s effort to exert central control over the policy, operations and financing of local trial courts,” Courthouse News Service reported Wednesday.
So any move to pay judges to attend could easily be seen as trying to buy supporters.
That political manoeuvring is just the tip of the iceberg in a much larger national phenomenon of politics gripping the courts.
Back in July, an investigation of the U.S. Supreme Court revealed it is the most politically divided court in more than 50 years.
“Some people say you would have to go back nearly 70 years to see this kind of tension, and almost bitterness, that now exists among the justices,” CBS News reported.
But don’t tell the justices that.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas fumed last year that high court opponents were undermining its legacy and irreparably politicizing it in the eyes of the public.
More recently Justice Antonin Scalia lashed out during a panel when the audience asked about claims the court is rigidly divided along political lines.
“It really enrages me to hear people refer to it as a politicized court,” Scalia spat out, adding that he “couldn’t care less who the president is.”
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