How Scalia Law School Became a Key Friend of the Supreme Court

“Of course, Judge Gorsuch is the newest member of the Supreme Court and the youngest appointed to the High Court in a generation,” the proposal said. and is widely believed to be a worthy continuation of that great man’s legacy.”

The proposal included a description of potential sites, relying in part on advice from Mr. Leo, who had “important links in Rome and the Vatican” available if needed.

Other law schools have hosted judges on paid trips abroad. For example, New York University sent Judges Ginsburg and Sotomayor to a conference in Portugal in 2019, but did not receive any teaching salaries. In 2016, Tulane paid Judge Alito to teach in Berlin and Paris and covered his expenses, according to disclosures that year. Notre Dame, which counts Judge Amy Coney Barrett as a longtime faculty member, has recently been vying for the court’s attention, sending Judge Alito to Rome and Judge Kavanaugh to London.

However, judicial ethics guidelines only require judges to record that such transfers have taken place. No need to disclose the cost of flights, lodging or meals. In Gorsuch’s case, it was not a trivial sum, according to records obtained by The Times.

For the judge’s first course in Padua, an email to his staff estimated airfare at $3,771. During lessons in Iceland, the school reimbursed him for his $5,250 for lodging, in addition to his salary. Records show that the school spent thousands more on flights and lodging for special guests his speakers (the judge’s friends, colleagues, and other notables).

“While our guests are with us, I expect (from their experience in Padua) that they want to eat, drink and be merry with us (especially at NMG). I am,” one of the coordinators wrote, referring to Judge Gorsuch.

Amanda Frost, a law professor at the University of Virginia who specializes in legal ethics, said such an arrangement would be troubling. “Some of this sounds like an all-expenses-paid vacation with a little teaching thrown in,” she said in an interview.

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