Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., says he’s glad the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has canceled its annual judicial conference next year, but he still thinks the court is wasting taxpayer money on its gathering scheduled next month in Hawaii.
This year’s conference of federal judges and lawyers wasn’t canceled, he said, despite pressure from Sen. Chuck Grassley and himself. Both have accused the court of wasting money on an unnecessary conference at an estimated cost of $1 million when every other government department is cutting back.
“The Ninth Circuit has been having one every year,” Sessions said told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Monday night. “They are the biggest and most expensive conference. So I think it’s real good that they changed.”
The Alabama Republican said he was still frustrated, however, at the court’s decision not to cancel its August conference on Maui, and its refusal so far to provide the details of its contract for the event to Congress.
“We have not gotten that,” he said. “There are some other questions we’ve asked we really believe should be answered and have not been.”
“Maybe some private businesses have the money to go to conferences every year and more expensive locations, but we don’t,” Sessions added. “This country is short of money. We are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend, so 40 percent of the [Ninth Circuit] $1 million conference in Hawaii is borrowed money.
“This is not a healthy thing. It’s not going to get better anytime soon. All of us have to tighten our belts.”
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