The following statement was issued by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
in response to a Los Angeles Times inquiry about his 2001 trip to Kansas:
I was not the guest of Stephen McAllister, but of the University of Kansas Law School. The invitation, in fact, had come not from Stephen McAllister but from his predecessor as dean of the law school, Michael Hoeflich. That invitation was issued in December of 1999 and accepted (by phone) some time before October of 2000 — long before the October and November, 2001, cases you refer to were on our docket. My travel expenses to Lawrence were reimbursed by the University of Kansas, not by the state. I flew with the governor and others on the governor's plane from Lawrence to Beloit and back, and promptly reimbursed the state of Kansas for the cost.
I do not think that spending time at a law school in which the counsel in pending cases was the dean could reasonably cause my impartiality to be questioned. Nor could spending time with the governor of a state that had matters before the court. Indeed, if the latter were so, Supreme Court justices would be permanently barred from social contact with all governors, since at any given point in time virtually all states have matters pending before us, either in accepted cases or in petitions for certiorari [or requests for the court to hear a case].