Justice Scalia Lived as He Died

Justice Scalia Lived as He Died
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in luxury at a ranch resort owned by a Texas millionaire who had business before the court last year:

“Though that trip has brought new attention to the justice’s penchant for travel, it was in addition to the 258 subsidized trips that he took from 2004 to 2014. Justice Scalia went on at least 23 privately funded trips in 2014 alone to places like Hawaii, Ireland and Switzerland, giving speeches, participating in moot court events or teaching classes. Just a few weeks before his death, he was in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Many of the justices are frequent expenses-paid travelers, a practice that some court scholars say is a minor matter, given that many of the trips involve public talks that help demystify the court. But others argue that the trips could potentially create the appearance of a conflict of interest, particularly when the organizations are known for their conservative or liberal views. Some groups at times use the presence of a Supreme Court justice as a way to pull in members or other paying guests.

‘I am worried about the public perception of gratitude, even if there is no effect on your behavior,’ said Stephen Gillers, a professor at the New York University School of Law who specializes in legal ethics. ‘And the greater the luxury, the greater the risk of public suspicion.’”

— “Scalia Led Court in Taking Trips Funded by Private Sponsors,” Eric Lipton, New York Times

More:

“Scalia’s West Texas Vacation Courtesy of Businessman With Prior Supreme Court Case,” Claire Landsbaum, New York Magazine

“Why Justice Scalia was staying for free at a Texas resort,” Mark Berman and Jerry Markon, Washington Post

“Texas ranch, owned by native Houstonian, is a retreat for the elite,” Emily Schmall, AP via Houston Chronicle

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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