Two federal appeals court judges in Washington resigned yesterday
from the board of an organization that opposes environmental
regulations, ending an ethics controversy surrounding their
Chief Circuit Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court
of Appeals in Washington and Judge Jane R. Roth of the Court
of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit announced their resignations
yesterday, according to a news release posted on the organization's
The resignations came a day after a court decision revealed
that another judge had stepped down from the board of the
Foundation for Research on Economics and Environment (FREE).
Maryland federal Judge Andre Davis's decision ended an ethics
complaint filed against him by a public interest environmental
The Community Rights Counsel's complaint charged that Davis,
Ginsburg, Roth and Judge Danny J. Boggs, of the 6th Circuit,
could not impartially do their jobs and serve on the board
of a group that advocated a position corporations have pressed
in federal court.
In a letter to FREE board Chairman John A. Baden, Ginsburg
said he had "reluctantly" chosen to resign and praised
the group's academic seminars for judges.
"As a judge, however, I am not in a position to constantly
be correcting the false impressions and calumnies that appear
in the press," Ginsburg wrote.
Roth could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Douglas T. Kendall, attorney for the Community Rights Counsel,
said the resignations prove "the simple point that a
judge cannot sit on the board of an organization that takes
money from corporations to influence the outcome of environmental
Baden said he was "very sorry" that the judges had
resigned. "They have been excellent participants and
discussion leaders" during the seminars, he said.
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