Over the last decade, federal courts have become increasingly hostile to environmental protections, while corporations and pro-business special interests have poured millions into lavish, ideologically-slanted seminars for federal judges held at luxury locations.
On July 24, 2000, Community Rights Counsel (CRC) linked these two developments, providing compelling evidence of the corrosive effect of these junkets. CRC's report, "Nothing for FREE," revealed:
- In a key endangered species case, the judge upheld habitat protection, attended a seminar, then switched his vote;
- In 10 of the decade's most dramatic departures from established precedent, the judge striking down the environmental protection attended at least one junket;
- In six of these cases, the judge attended a corporate-funded seminar while the case was pending before his or her court; and
- In at least three cases, the judge ruled in favor of a litigant bankrolled by the seminar's sponsors.