Inside Public Integrity

Published — April 28, 2014 Updated — July 3, 2014 at 11:43 am ET

Get involved: Help judges’ disclosures investigation go further with donations and news tips


This week, we published the investigation Juris Imprudence, which reveals dozens of examples where federal appellate judges ruled on cases in which they had a financial stake.

About the series

Center researchers spent months examining the finances of federal appellate court judges, the second highest courts in the land, and found 26 examples where judges ruled on cases where they had a conflict of interest.

We have posted those disclosures online and in a searchable database. The series is reported by Center reporters Reity O’Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young, and edited by John Dunbar.

Get involved

While we looked at hundreds of cases, we did not look at every case where a judge may have had a conflict. If you have been involved in a case that went before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and would like to see what the judges involved in the case own, we’ve made it easy for you to find out.

If you believe you have a story to tell about your own experience with the court, or feel a federal appellate judge ruled on a case when he or she shouldn’t, please send Weir an email.

Find out about the next stories in this series by either subscribing to our email newsletter or following us on Facebook or Twitter.

What we’ve found so far

  • The Center found 26 examples since 2010 where federal appellate judges ruled on cases in which they had a financial tie to one of the parties before them.
  • Sixteen judges in all 26 of those cases sent letters to the litigants to alert them of the mistakes. The letters are the first step in possibly reopening the cases.
  • Fifty-nine percent of the 255 federal appellate judges the Center reviewed reported owning stock.
  • Total reported assets, including stock and other investments, for the judges was valued between $580 million and $1.8 billion, as calculated by the Center.
  • More than 110 of judges had some information on their financial disclosure reports blacked out in 2012, including information about gifts, income and investments.

Read more in Inside Public Integrity

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