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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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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