Federal Judges Enjoying Conference At Five Star Resort This Weekend

I love checking out different resorts online. Sure, I don’t go to stay at these places, but if I ever come into large sums of money maybe we’ll take the kids for a long weekend or a nice vacation. I had never heard of the Broadmore resort in Colorado before, but it sure looks nice.

Broadmore

They have fancy suites, a ranch, kids camps and even brownstones. The five-star resort has a golf course and a beautiful pool nestled in the lush surroundings. The only reason I’ve heard of this place is that as a taxpayer, I’m helping to fund a Labor Day weekend conference for federal judges who are there this weekend. Lucky them!

With officials from the Judicial Branch demanding that Congress end across the board budget cuts from the sequester, federal judges from the Tenth Circuit start to gather today for a judicial conference at a “five star” Colorado resort that features three golf courses and a “scenic mountain backdrop.”

The Tenth Circuit gathering at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs was postponed from a year ago because of budget concerns, but court officials argue canceling the gathering entirely would have actually cost taxpayers money.

“We again considered canceling the conference when the sequester occurred, but the hotel cancellation fees made it more cost-effective to proceed,” said Tenth Circuit Executive David Tighe in an email.

Asked about costs, Tighe provided a basic rundown, saying that 99 federal judges attended the last Tenth Circuit gathering, which was also at the Broadmoor.

“The primary cost of judicial conferences is judges’ travel and lodging, and in 2010, that totaled approximately $191,000,” Tighe said.  The Tenth Circuit covers federal judges in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. (Read More)

Why are any of these conferences necessary for federal employees in this age of technology? Haven’t they heard of Skype, or any of those online meeting services? In the private sector conferences still make sense – they can be great for marketing. I can’t see how they can be justified in the public sector, but they keep happening, and we keep paying for it.