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Justice Scalia Died During Free Trip Following Favorable Ruling For Litigant

February 18, 2016

Just another layer of dysfunction in our system of government and law.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death over the weekend at a West Texas ranch raised questions about the nature of his travel, who paid for the trip and whether justices are subject to the same disclosure guidelines as other judges or federal officials.

Scalia was at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort tucked away in the Big Bend region of Texas about 30 miles from the border with Mexico.

The ranch is 30,000-acre getaway that is home to John B. Poindexter, according to the website of J.B. Poindexter & Co. It is a remote location that has reportedly attracted the likes of Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall and Bruce Willis. When Tommy Lee Jones directed a movie more than a decade ago, he filmed several scenes at the ranch, according to the Houston Chronicle.

All of which raises the question: Who pays for a Supreme Court justice to make this kind of trip?

Not Scalia, it turns out. Poindexter told The Washington Post that Scalia was not charged for his stay, something he described as a policy for all guests at the ranch.

“I did not pay for the Justice’s trip to Cibolo Creek Ranch,” Poindexter wrote in a brief email Tuesday. “He was an invited guest, along with a friend, just like 35 others.”

However, Poindexter said he did not pay for Scalia’s charter flight to Texas.

One of Poindexter’s companies was involved in a case that made it to the high court. Last year, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving an age discrimination lawsuit filed against one of these companies, court records show.

The nature of Poindexter’s relationship with Scalia remained unclear Tuesday, one of several lingering questions about his visit. It was not known whether Scalia had paid for his own ticket to fly to the ranch or if someone else picked up the tab, just as it was not immediately clear if Scalia had visited before.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Solly permalink
    February 19, 2016 11:29 PM

    Thank you for the kind words tom. An examination of conscience and self-evaluation can be very liberating. I applaud you for taking the first step. I do vote five stars on your comments from time to time.



  2. tom permalink
    February 19, 2016 2:53 PM

    Solly: You are the smartest guy I’ve ever encountered on the internet. You are right that everything I say here I pull out of my ass. I’m ashamed at the way you shred any of my Koch brothers-inspired talking points. I strive to be a brave free-thinker like you. Really, it is an honor just to be on the same internet as you.



  3. Solly permalink
    February 19, 2016 1:33 PM

    Yes tom, one doesn’t and can’t look very far if he keeps his eyes closed (where are your two buddies, hear no evil and speak no evil?) The article Deke linked goes on to say that the owner of the resort said no one paid, in THAT GROUP of his invited guests. It’s a luxury resort, not a socialist commune. If anyone else besides the owner’s friends or cronies or those that did his business a favor by voting to dismiss a case before the Supreme Court stay there they have to pay $500 to $800 a night. Scalia never let ethics get in his way if he was taking freebies from those with issues before the court, like the hunting trip with “Vice”President Dick Cheney when there was a case before the court trying to get Cheney to release the records of the industry executives who were writing the country’s energy policy. Scalia didn’t get the nickname Junket King for nothing. And since you don’t have to “look very far” to know he “most likely paid for his own plane ticket to get there,” did you use your ESP to know this “most likely” supposition, or did you pull it out of your ass like you usually do? LOL!

  4. tom permalink
    February 19, 2016 8:28 AM

    Lol! Nobody needs to look very far to see what they want–or to look away from what they don’t want to see.

    The real question is: do we apply skepticism or the benefit of the doubt fairly and reasonably.

  5. February 18, 2016 3:23 PM

    No one needs to look very far to see an ethical problem. Plus there are those times when people in power need to make sure there is not even a hint of improper activity taking place.

  6. tom permalink
    February 18, 2016 2:41 PM

    So, Scalia stayed for free at a ranch where everyone stays for free and most likely paid for his own plane ticket to get there. By all means, let’s get a special prosecutor involved.

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