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Phone: 202-296-6889
Fax: 202-296-6895


CRC News Releases


For Immediate Release: May 5, 2005
Contact: Doug Kendall, 202-296-6889 x 3



CRC Ethics Petition Leads to First Judge Quitting
Junketing Organization's Board


Public Awaits Action from Remaining Three Judges Clinging to Board Membership


WASHINGTON - One of four federal judges serving on the board of a group that runs corporate-sponsored junkets for federal judges has resigned, according to a document released today by Community Rights Counsel (CRC). This is the first time a petition has led to a judge quitting the widely criticized junketing program's board.

The resignation comes in response to an ethics petition filed last year by CRC, which has led the effort to expose the extent of corporate-funded junkets for federal judges and the conflicts of interest they can create. Maryland-based US District Judge Andre Davis's resignation from the board of the Montana-based Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE) is documented in this order, written by Chief Judge William Wilkins of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Chief Judge Wilkins dismisses CRC's petition because the action sought in its petition - Judge Davis's resignation from FREE's Board - has now taken place.

CRC Executive Director Doug Kendall said, "While it was never a good idea for judges to serve on the board of a group that takes money from interested parties and uses it to take them and their colleagues on expense paid trips, Judge Davis had the sense to make a bad situation right. It's time for the other three judges to follow suit, then support a ban on these troublesome junkets altogether."

A CRC investigation last year showed startling evidence that FREE had manipulated its board membership and program schedules in an attempt to influence the outcome of pending federal cases in which corporate sponsors had a stake. Based on the evidence collected in this report, Tainted Justice: How Private Judicial Trips Undermine Public Trust in the Federal Judiciary, CRC filed ethics petitions against Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the DC Circuit, Chief Judge Danny Boggs of the Sixth Circuit, Judge Jane Roth of the Third Circuit, and Judge Davis. Nearly fourteen months after their filing, these remaining petitions still await resolution.


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For a copy of an ethics petition filed against Judge Andre Davis, click here (PDF).
For a copy of the ethics petition against Chief Judge Doug Ginsburg, click here (PDF).
For a copy of an ethics petition filed against Judge Danny Boggs, click here (PDF).
For a copy of an ethics petition filed against Judge Jane Roth, click here (PDF).

Read the confidential order, released May 5, 2005, documenting Judge Andre Davis' resignation from FREE's board (PDF)

Read letters from the 6th Circuit and the DC Circuit, transferring our petitions against Judges Boggs and Ginsburg to Judge James B. Loken, Chief Judge of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (PDF).

Read the media coverage of Davis' resignation - The Washington Post, May 6, 2005
Since then, both Roth and Ginsburg have resigned as well. Read The Washington Post, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and Delaware News Journal on their resignations. Read David Hawpe's May 11, 2005 column in the Louisville Courier-Journal on Judge Danny Boggs.

Read CRC's groundbreaking report, Tainted Justice: How Private Judicial Trips Undermine Public Trust in the Federal Judiciary

 

 

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