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GOP Senators question upcoming $1 million Hawaiian conference for Ninth Circuit Court

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By Doug Powers  •  May 21, 2012 03:12 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Throw in the Angry Office Clown and this thing sounds like a GSA junket with robes.

From The Hill:

Two senior Senate Republicans on Monday blasted plans by judges in the 9th Circuit to hold a conference in Hawaii this August that they said could run up a tab of $1 million or more, and includes a schedule of sport fishing, yoga, surfing lessons and Zumba dancing lessons.

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) last week wrote to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski to warn that the Hawaii meeting does not appear to fit with the 9th Circuit’s own opinion that the federal budget is tight. The letter was sent just weeks after Republicans took the General Services Administration (GSA) to task for a notorious $800,000 conference that led several GSA officials to resign.

“We are concerned about the overall cost of this conference and do not believe that discussions about the administration of justice would be less successful were they held somewhere other than a spa and resort in Hawaii,” the senators wrote. The letter adds that while conference organizers note that government funds are not to be used for recreation, the conference program “reads more like a vacation than a business trip to discuss the means of improving the administration of justice.”

Recently the courts have purportedly been focused on cost containment measures. Maybe they’ll discuss saving money during ashwini mudra exercises in yoga class.

**Written by Doug Powers

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