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UK Supreme Court judge Lord Hodge admits ‘naivety’ at attending Federalist Society dinner

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He refers to his ‘innocence’ in accepting invite from right-wing group that’s helping President Trump pick top judges, including Brett Kavanaugh

Lord Hodge

UK Supreme Court judge Lord Hodge has spoken of his “naivety” at attending a gala dinner held by the Federalist Society, the right-wing pressure group credited with helping President Trump select his US Supreme Court judges.

The 65-year-old says he accepted an invite to the bash in “innocence” without seeming to have realised the nature of the organisation. When he twigged, he “insisted on paying the non-insubstantial cost of my ticket to preserve my political neutrality”.

Hodge’s admission is contained in a newly released speech about populism and judicial independence that he delivered last month in Scotland. Here is the relevant section in full:

“When I was in Washington DC in November 2016, to deliver a lecture shortly after the presidential election, I had accepted, in my innocence, an invitation to a gala dinner by the Federalist Society which turned out to be a well-established Republican Lawyers’ pressure group. My hosts were very pleasant but, because of the political nature of their organisation, I insisted on paying the non-insubstantial cost of my ticket to preserve my political neutrality. My naivety is not the point of this tale. What fascinated me was that many establishment republican lawyers who were no fans of the elected President had voted for him only in order to have a Republican nominated for the Supreme Court. The partisan nature of the process of the appointment was apparent from the unfortunate Senate confirmation hearing which followed and the heated demonstrations in Washington DC which accompanied it.”

Legal Cheek has been alerted to a blog post by a US lawyer associated with the Federalist Society saying how she got Hodge to attend. Marisa Maleck writes about her recent trip to the UK, in which she recounts observing the work of the Supreme Court in London, before stating:

“That last week was also special to me because I have continued to be able to have conversations with some of the U.K. Supreme Court justices and other contacts even after the program. For example, Lord Hodges [sic] accepted my invitation to attend the Federalist Society’s annual dinner; he was able to learn more about our legal system and hobnob with our best and brightest legal minds.”

Continuing, Maleck also mentions exchanging emails with Hodge’s UK Supreme Court colleague, Lord Wilson, about Brexit and Trump. She writes:

“I also have been in contact with Lord Wilson, who has written me a handful of emails about Brexit and the election of President Trump.”

The UK Supreme Court declined to comment.

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46 Comments

Anonymous

They’ll do anything for a hot meal and an after dinner speech in the USA.

Kronos

He should have come to the Top Society of Titanically Top Towering Titans’ annual dinner instead. This year it was sponsored by Greenberg Glusker LLP. Other guests included Hulk Hogan and Dame Maggie Smith.

Anonymous

When the libtards come after you there’s only one rule.

Never apologise.

Anonymous

Knob !

Anonymous

A right-wing group!

Who assisted Trump in appointing Brett Kavanaugh!

An innocent man!

My God, they sound like complete bastards!

Anonymous

They may be a completely respectable group. But if he thinks that why effectively apologise for attending their dinner? Strange behaviour.

Anonymous

He’s getting it out there before making his run up to being President of the UKSC

Anonymous

He didn’t. Mere attendance was not the problem.

He apologised for accepting a financial benefit – ie a free meal – from a political group. The principle is that accepting any such benefit from any such group should be off-limits, due to the need for judges to be seen to be neutral.

He thus corrected this by paying for his meal.

None of this implies that the group itself is disreputable in any way.

Anonymous

If he’d had dinner with a Clinton-supporting pressure group to push far left judges onto the Supreme Court you’d be screaming bloody murder with the rest of the gammons.

Anonymous

Thank you for this sophisticated argument, and in particular for your masterful use of a perjorative slur against an anonymous individual whose race, gender and age you don’t even know.

I shall give it appropriate consideration.

Anonymous

Yeah cause I was responding to such a nuanced, thoughtful, evidence based post.

Anonymous

Nah mate, you’re just a cunt

Anonymous

Go fuck yourself

Bron

Still no cure…

Anonymous

Christ you gammons are sensitive little snowflakes aren’t you.

Anonymous

Do you ever get tired of being a racist cunt?

TFG

Actually Trumpington (for thou it most definitely is !), you’re the cunt mate. A firmly established truism…

Pepe & Frands

Reported for racist hate speech

“Gammon” is a racist slur aimed at white English men

Anonymous

No it isn’t. You can be a black or Asian gammon (in fact I know several Pakistani gammon). It’s the gammon of the heart that makes one a gammon, not the gammon of the face.

Anonymous

Omu Jo

Try ordering Gammon in Islamabad.

Gammon refers to the colour of a white middle aged man getting worked up.

Not victim though because whitey in position of power.

Anonymous

Try talking to the average middle aged Pakistani about Asia Bibi – you’ll get exactly the same red faced irrational outraged hatred as if you talk to a white gammon about Romanians or the EU.

TFG

A racist slur ? 😀

ODFO, there’s a good chap..

Anonymous

Release the emails!

Anonymous

I hope you refer to Hillary’s!

Anonymous

No, your mum’s

Anonymous

She already told you that you’re too small do to no anything, please stop thinking about her

Anonymous

Actually judges should be elected or appointed by elected persons – this is one of the many ways in which the USA’s democracy is more advanced than our own.

Not a UK lawyer.

Are UK judges not appointed on the advice on the PM/government?

Anonymous

No they are not appointed on the advice of the PM/Govt. Not for quite a few years now…
*eye roll*

Anonymous

Thanks, so now will judges start apologising every time they give an interview to the Guardian or the Daily Mail for fear of “empowering or endorsing” their views?

These people are complete imbeciles.

Tim

Disablist comment.

Reported.

Anonymous

Oh dear.

Is this really ‘Tim’?

If it is, please don’t go looking for prejudice or offence where none exists. ‘Imbecile’ is not disablist any more than ‘stupid’, ‘half-witted’ or ‘dim’ are. (I’d give you ‘retard’ because of the way that’s used.)

It’s all about context. Automatic reactions just show up objectors as more bothered about themselves than the thing they criticise.

Anonymous

Also disablist and also reported.

Anonymous

Oooh ooh look at me I reported a comment on legal cheek please can I have a gold star.

Cretin.

Anonymous

I hate this polarisation of contemporary political debate. Neither side has anything useful or helpful to say.

Why didn't the bicycle go? Because it was two-tyred!

Here, does anyone know Lord Hodges christian names? I don’t want to trawl the PageRank system anymore.

Gerontion

It’s disgraceful that people have to apologise for supporting an entirely valid political candidate simply to avoid upsetting the liberal powers that be.

Anonymous

Liberals shouldn’t have to apologise for having an opinion just because a group of sour right-wingers won one US Presidential election (plus the Senate) and therefore they seem to think that they get to inherit the earth. That’s the thing with elections, they tend to happen periodically and therefore mean virtually all voices get some sort of platform.

Anonymous

It’s hilarious that the swivel eyed right wing loonies are currently in charge of both the UK and USA yet their supporters still think everyone is controlled by “MUH librul eleet”

Anonymous

Dominic Raab is so hot. How do I get a training contract at Linklaters?

Anonymous

Be a semi attractive well groomed stick insect from an independent school and Oxbridge/Russell group and skilled in the art of seducing assholes into thinking you might put out, otherwise forget it.

Anonymous

Have long thought that if I had to pick a “shittest JSC” it would be Hodge. Winner.

Anonymous

Like all the Scottish judges, who are only in the SC because they have to be, Hodge is second rate (that is why he practised in Scotland), and would not have been appointed had he applied in competition with English judges.

Anonymous

What about Lady Black? Her appointment was pure tokenism. Family hack from Leeds.

Anonymous

I think the fair thing would be to see how she does – she’s only been in position for 5 minutes.

Whereas Hodge has had a deal longer and flattered to deceive. Carnwarth and Reed are even bigger muppets though.

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