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Financial Disclosure Tidbits

All federal judges and justices are required to file annual financial disclosure reports. That’s well known.

1. But did you know that judges are able to obtain up to a $1,370 reimbursement for hiring a financial adviser or CPA to help prepare their disclosures (see pp. 21-22)?

2. Did you know that one of the preparers advises judges what types of information they might want redacted from their reports, and that this advice is overly broad, to the point where, if heeded by those in charge of redactions, the disclosures would lose a significant portion of their accountability purpose?

Read the redacting advice from 2019 here.

3. Did you know that the judiciary sends judges very detailed instructions for how to fill out their disclosures each year, and these instructions, it would seem, would make it very difficult for, say, 131 judges — assuming they read them — to “forget” about conflicts of interest in 685 cases from 2010 to 2018, as the Wall Street Journal reported in September?

Read the 2010 instructions (for the 2009 disclosures) here. Read the 2021 instructions (for the 2020 disclosures) here.

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