The wallets beneath the robes

A group called the Free Law Project is making headlines this week with its new database of financial disclosures by federal judges. Apparently, this information has been technically available for public inspection, but practically inaccessible, for many years.

Now you can enter your favorite judge's name and feast your eyes. Comb through RBG's retirement accounts from her law professor days! Check out Brett Kavanaugh's credit cards! See which law schools wheeled Clarence Thomas in to give speeches! Knock yourself out.

Did you know that Judge Michael Simon, a federal judge here in Portland, collects royalties from the plays "Promises, Promises" and "The Odd Couple"? Those were written by his uncle, Neil Simon. I did not know of that connection. Oh, and his wife is Suzanne Bonamici, the Congressperson. I did not know that, either. The things you learn when the data gets opened up.

On a more serious note, some Wall Street Journal reporters did some deep research in the database and reached some startling, and depressing, conclusions, which they reported here (sorry, there's a paywall, but you can see the headline, yikes).