WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scala missed the swearing-in of Chief Justice John Roberts last year to golf at a right-wing legal seminar, ABC News reports.
All of the other justices attended the September ceremony except Scalia, who was at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Bachelor Gulch, Colo., at the event sponsored by the Federalist Society. At the time, Scalia's staff told reporters he was away at a commitment he couldn't break, the report said.
"It's unfortunate of course that what kept him from the swearing-in was an activity that is itself of dubious ethical propriety," said Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor and a recognized scholar on legal ethics.
The issue of accepting paid trips was part of Roberts' questioning in his confirmation hearing.
"Well, I don't think special interests should be allowed to lobby federal judges," Roberts responded to the ethical question. "Stated that way, I think the answer is clear."
Roberts and Scalia declined comment and requests for interviews by ABC News, as did a spokesman for the Federalist Society.