US senators are scrutinizing a planned Maui getaway for circuit court judges that could cost more than $1 million in taxpayer dollars, Fox News reports. Scheduled for August, the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference would allow judges, attorneys, staff, and "special guests" to stay at a Hyatt Regency resort spa with a per diem baseline of $289. Activities such as golf, paddle-board lessons, and a floral design workshop would be available but not on the taxpayers' tab.
"The programs read more like a vacation than a business trip to discuss the means of improving the administration of justice," wrote Sens. Jeff Sessions and Chuck Grassley. Circuit Court Executive Cathy Catterson issued a written response, saying the trip was "authorized by law" for court business. But more will follow: The GOP senators have requested a breakdown of costs and reminded the judges of the recent General Services Administration scandal in Las Vegas, which set back taxpayers more than $800,000.