Federal Judges Nix Idaho, Say Hawaii Conference is 'Cost Effective'


Federal judges in the 9th Circuit, which includes Idaho and eight other Western U.S. states, ruled against Idaho in deciding where to hold their annual conference. Instead, they opted to head to Hawaii. They're, presumably, leaving their robes behind.

Two U.S. senators—Republicans Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Sessions of Alabama—have asked for details about the trip, which is estimated to cost more than $1 million.

9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski confirmed that they had looked at Idaho and Alaska, but the judges found a good deal on Maui, writing that travel costs would be lower "due to a greater number of air carriers competing in the Hawaii travel market." Kozinski also said that the conference is "renowned for the quality and depth of their education programs."

The conference's official website stressed that "government funds are not used for any recreational or sporting activities."