Legal site releases judges' financial disclosure data, highlighting teaching fees and security exemptions
The National Law Journal published on Thursday financial disclosure reports from 2012 for 257 of 258 federal appellate judges. Judges redacted information from 112 of these reports.
Each year, federal judges are required to fill out financial disclosure reports, and the forms from 2012 are the ones most recently available. The reports help expose conflicts of interest that can lead judges to recuse themselves from cases. They include such information as investments, outside income, gifts, and travel reimbursements.
Judges can only redact information for security reasons, such as if they can show that publicizing it would pose a physical or financial danger to themselves or their families, The National Law Journal explained. Among the redactions that The National Law Journal highlighted was one for more than $20,000 in teaching income, and another for a “partial honorary membership” worth nearly $2,000.
To obtain the annual reports, people must mail or fax a request to each judge, who are notified of the requests. Responses can take weeks or months to arrive.
The National Law Journal plans to run a series of articles based on findings from the reports. One story available now looks at how much law schools pay to have appellate judges on their faculty. Senior Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., received $277,906 from New York University School of Law, the site reported, making him the top academic earner among judges.