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Forum Post: Corporations, pro-business nonprofits foot bill for judicial seminars

Posted 7 years ago on April 1, 2013, 10:23 a.m. EST by GirlFriday (17435)
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Key Findings

Between July 2008 and 2012, about 185 federal judges attended more than 100 judicial education seminars, sponsored by conservative foundations and multinational corporations like ExxonMobil, Pfizer and BP.

The Center identified instances where judges who attended seminars underwritten by certain firms and trade groups later issued rulings in the funders’ favor.

George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center and Northwestern University’s Judicial Education Program hosted more judicial conferences than any other organization or university.

The Koch Foundation and The Searle Freedom Trust, both major supporters of conservative causes, were sponsors for most of the conferences organized by the two schools.

The person who spoke at more judicial conferences than any other was Henry Butler, a professor and prominent conservative formerly of Northwestern and now executive director of George Mason’s Law & Economics Center.

Conservative foundations, multinational oil companies and a prescription drug maker were the most frequent sponsors of more than 100 expense-paid educational seminars attended by federal judges over a 4 1/2-year period, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation.

Among the seminar titles were “The Moral Foundations of Capitalism,” “Corporations and the Limits of Criminal Law” and “Terrorism, Climate & Central Planning: Challenges to Liberty & the Rule of Law.”

Leading the list of sponsors of the 109 seminars identified by the Center were the conservative Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, The Searle Freedom Trust, also a supporter of conservative causes, ExxonMobil Corp., Shell Oil Co., pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and State Farm Insurance Cos. Each were sponsors of 54 seminars.

Other top sponsors included the conservative Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (51), Dow Chemical Co. (47), AT&T Inc. (45) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (46), according to the Center’s analysis.

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[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

This another example of government officials getting into close relationships with corporations or wealthy individuals and their Proxies. We call this getting in bed together if you'll pardon the term....

This example is similar to the problem with bankers working inside our Treasury, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, etcs... and the problem with people rotating jobs between FINRA and the Federal Reserve positions and all federal regulatory positions. It is regulation capture.

In the case of your Article ... they have captured US Judges... and they have put a friendly face on their industry, and put key words into the brains of influential Officials. We will never know if their are other gifts set up for these Judges in private conversations.

But how do we stop University Seminars from including Industry Reps? Pass a prohibitive law I guess, but then the risk is the professors will pass on Industry mores, industry culture, and industry gifts. Still I think the prohibition would help separate the government officials from Industry Leaders.

This all is a great example of RICO Conspiracies in how they can be introduced as just relationships ... later on they will work out how they can help each other....

Did the Judges get free hotel rooms, free dinners, free airplane tickets or air plane rides on private craft, ... was the conference free for these judges.....


It is like Prison Gangs or Organized Crime... if I can stretch the point.


Coming Up Tuesday, Apr. 9 (audio available at 6 PM Daily): In hour one, inside the Aryan Brotherhood. (It is a show where prisoners called in and described prison control by Gangs, but much more ... they also spoke briefly to the difference between state and federal prison)

Neil Conan is the Host with special Guest Georgia Leak?, UCLA Professor (I think) she wrote a book called "Jumped In".

A Look Inside White Supremacist Prison Gangs

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

As above/so below, innit?

You might not be able to run 'em out of private universities. But, I wonder if you could slash the hell out of any funding to them. I don't know why they can't be run out of state universities.

Gangbangers from top to bottom.

As an aside, NPR kind of pisses me off because had Tom Clements not been murdered they wouldn't have bothered. Further, it just seems so hastily put together due to this fact.......

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

Yes, your making good points. I have heard that all universities depend on public money though regardless of if called Private.

This should be clear to everyone:

Corporations have invaded Universities and taken over long term studies of drugs for big pharmacies.... everyone must be able to see how federal Economics pivots on Never saying "Fraud" or "Conspiracy" or "Systemic Corruption of the Banking System".

The Corporate Culture has taken over many areas of University studies and K-12... in a way that has "dumbed Down" the whole population. It is only topped off by Careerist in Media who will walk off a cliff to keep their jobs, their benefits, stay in the career with a strong reputation, and help their kids to get an education & Career.

-I agree NPR soft pedals the issues and avoids the hard questions especially about war. The may have been slapped real hard by the Bush admin after 2001... Now it is the callers on the shows that seem to make the best statements.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

I wonder if some judges, congressmen, and other political office holders were invited to a park or seminar held by Occupy, would any of them come? Silly question; we don't have any money.

p.s. did anybody pick up on Ex-Prez George Bush speaking a little while back at a seminar in the Cayman Islands about the merits of tax sheltering by off shore banking? Shows where these people's heads are at.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

Not surprisingly, this one dropped like a stone in spite of it's relevance.

It's just astounding how "evil" these people are, but I guess it's all about maximizing shareholder value.

A quote from the story.

EPA loses case

In April 2009, for example, Jolly traveled to Northwestern University to attend the “Criminalization of Corporate Conduct” seminar sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 13 other funders.

Last August, Jolly wrote the majority 2-1 opinion declaring that the Environmental Protection Agency broke the law when it rejected a Texas emissions cap generally supported by the fossil fuels industry.

Jolly, who did not respond to requests for comment, sided with two of the petitioners in the suit — the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber.

Charles Geyh, an Indiana University law professor who specializes in judicial ethics, is skeptical that rulings are directly influenced by corporate sponsors of seminars, but noted, “in a cynic’s view that would smack of corruption.”

“Even if it has no effect in terms of the decisions judges make, the perception of influence matters a great deal,” he says. “It looks as if [corporations] are buying influence, even if it’s not true.”

Another attendee of the 2009 “Criminalization of Corporate Conduct” seminar was U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier, the Eastern District of Louisiana jurist presiding over a high-profile BP civil trial, which is being held without a jury in New Orleans.

Barbier is in charge of considering whether BP owes billions of dollars in fines for gross negligence leading to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil platform explosion and spill. The disaster killed 11 people and contaminated a large swath of the Gulf Coast.

In 2011, Barbier dismissed a wrongful-death claim in a suit brought against ExxonMobil and Chevron USA by the widow of a worker who was exposed to radioactive materials found on the companies’ equipment.

Barbier’s ruling in favor of the oil companies came two years after he attended the corporate conduct seminar, funded in part by ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute, according to documents. The judge did not respond to requests for comment.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Well, sure it's all about making this a one issue forum.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

I'm surprised I missed it yesterday, but alas I was under attack from OTP most of day.

I guess the posse assigned him to me.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

I have the rightwing fucknut below.

[-] -2 points by mandy9 (-5) 7 years ago

Everyone.!...Bimbo Friday wants you to sing along "The Koch Song" with her.

Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch

Second verse.

Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

That's the best you have? You worthless piece of shit.