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Judge Kozinski Writes an Apology, Sort of, Regarding 9th Circuit Conference Site

Posted Aug 6, 2012 1:58 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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If they could do it all over again, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may not have chosen the Hyatt Regency Maui as its 2012 annual conference site. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski recently noted this in a letter (PDF) to Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The two U.S. senators in May criticized the court’s decision to meet in Maui, noting in a letter (PDF) that the hotel is “a spa and resort.”

Kozinski’s letter was dated Aug. 3. In his writing, Kozinski notes that the 9th Circuit entered a contact with the Hyatt Regency Maui in 2010. Canceling the contract, as well as nonrefundable airline tickets for attendees, is not feasible, he states.

“In hindsight, had we foreseen the nation’s current fiscal problems, we may have chosen a different site for this year’s conference ... we remain convinced that the conference will improve the administration of justice within the circuit as 28 U.S.C. sect. 33 envisions,” Kozinski wrote, referring to federal law that authorizes the court conferences.

The letter also notes that 2013 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference plans have changed. That meeting is pushed back to 2014, and will take place at the Monterey, Calif., Hyatt Regency.

It’s been previously reported that rooms at the Hyatt Regency Maui cost between $230 and $250 a night. All of the circuit’s appellate, district and bankruptcy judges are expected to attend the three-day meeting, scheduled to take place Aug. 13 through Aug. 16.

Hat tip: How Appealing.

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