In 2021 and 2022, two conservative, billionaire-funded legal interests sent more than 100 federal judges on 251 trips to conferences and seminars in cushy locations around the country and overseas, according to a Lever review of hundreds of federal financial disclosure forms. 

In all, George Mason University (GMU) and The Federalist Society, a conservative lawyers network, funded more than 40 percent of travel-related payments reported by federal judges in those years, far more than any other group. 

The staggering number of junkets indicate that, as conservative Supreme Court justices face scrutiny for failing to disclose private luxury travel supplied by billionaire donors, right-wing legal interests funded by the mega-wealthy are routinely feting lower-court judges and treating them to all-expenses-paid trips to far-flung locales. As with the gifts to Supreme Court justices, the trips effectively function as a reward system for judges who espouse and maintain hardline conservative legal views.

GMU — a Virginia-based public research university that’s home to the conservative Antonin Scalia Law School and its pro-business, anti-regulation Law and Economics program — […]

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