Study Finds Few States Require Judges to Reveal Financial Info


Forty-two states and the District of Columbia received a failing grade in the Center for Public Integrity’s evaluation of disclosure requirements for high court judges. And not a single state earned an A or a B. Despite the dearth of information, the center said it found 35 examples of questionable gifts, investments overlapping with caseloads as well as other entanglements.

After reviewing three years of personal financial disclosures, the center found judges who authored opinions favoring companies in which they owned stock. The center found judges who ruled on cases even when family members were receiving income from one of the parties. And it found judges who accepted lavish gifts — like a $50,000 trip from a lawyer. The two highest-scoring states, California and Maryland, got Cs. Six other states earned a D, while the rest failed. In many states, it's practically impossible to glean any meaningful information from judges' financial disclosures.

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