SCOTUS on TV

March 9, 2010
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The Supreme Court of the United States hearings should be televised, justices should have term limits, and age doesn’t matter as long as the justice is healthy, say a majority of people polled about the SCOTUS.

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind released results of its recent national poll of registered voters about the nation’s highest court. Three out of five voters say televising the hearings would be “good for democracy.” Nearly a quarter say airing the hearings would “undermine the authority and dignity of the court.”

Liberals, Democrats, independents, and younger voters are more likely to think televising the court would be a good development. Forty-five percent of respondents say putting the hearings of TV would be good because the judges would consider public opinion more, but 31 percent say that justices would consider the public opinion too much when making decisions.

Half of the people questioned say they’d watch the hearings if televised. I wonder if those are the same people that watch “Judge Judy” and other court shows.

More than half of those polled think the justices should be limited to a maximum term of 18 years instead of lifetime appointments. Nearly a third believe that being over 70 is too old to serve. Don’t tell that to the five justices on the bench who are older than 70. Those justices would be heartened to hear that nearly half think age doesn’t matter and the justice needs only to be healthy.

I’ll admit it – I enjoy watching “The People’s Court” and “Judge Judy” on TV. I get a kick out of the lawsuits and how the judges handle the parties in court. I’d also tune in to SCOTUS hearings if they were on TV, but probably not as often. Let’s face it, chances are those hearings won’t be as entertaining as Judge Judy. But unlike “Judge Judy,” the outcome of the SCOTUS hearing may have an actual impact my life.
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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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