By Tyler Cooper, FTC senior researcher
While we often know well ahead of time when a cabinet-level official or a member of Congress takes a trip paid for by a third party, that level of transparency is not accommodated by the judiciary and the Supreme Court.
Instead, the public typically learns about a free SCOTUS trip a year or two after the fact, when a justice’s annual financial disclosure report, on which trips are listed, is released.
However, George Mason University’s National Security Institute recently publicized that they hosted Neil Gorsuch and Elena Kagan in Iceland this summer.
Gorsuch was there as part of the “Separation of Powers” class he taught at the university’s law school, while Kagan appears to have been a guest speaker for the event, which was billed as an opportunity for students to, “learn about the historical roots and modern application of the separation of powers in the national security context[.]”
No video of the justices’ speaking events at the program appear to have been made available to the public, but a number of photos were made available here.
Plus, we love the irony that what looks to have been the one free international trip the justices took during the summer of re-COVID was to the only other modern democracy, besides ours, where the top judges enjoy life tenure!