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January 1, 2015

Chief Justice promises fully electronic SCOTUS by 2016 in his 2014 year-end report

FuturamanAs reported here by Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSbog, the US Supreme Court "is moving toward a full and free-access system for all documents filed in cases before the Justices — a system expected to be working 'as soon as 2016,' Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., revealed in his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary."  Here is a bit more about this exciting news:

The Court already receives some of its filings electronically, but the present arrangements do not include “all filings at the Court,” in the language the Chief Justice used to describe what will be available by 2016.  That, he said, will include “petitions and responses to petitions, merits briefs, and all other types of motions and applications.”  Public access to all of these materials will be available on the Court’s website without cost, he stressed.

The Chief Justice’s annual report was dominated by a theme of technological advances and their impact on the operation of the courts.  He acknowledged that, because of special concerns about security and other operating limitations for the courts, the judiciary has not been moving as rapidly as some other sectors of society in modernizing its information systems.  “The courts will often choose to be late to the harvest of American ingenuity,” he commented.

When the new system is in place and operating, according to Roberts, filings will still be made in paper form, but there will be a requirement for electronic versions when filed by any party that is represented by an attorney.  Those, like prison inmates, who are too poor to afford lawyers and filing fees and thus are allowed to file papers making their own pleas without cost, will not be required to make electronic submissions.  The Court staff will scan those so-called “pauper” filings and upload them to the Court’s system so that those, too, will be available for public access....

The year-end report also discussed the progress of the lower federal courts in adopting and improving the electronic case-filing system that has been in place since 2001.  More than one billion documents can now be retrieved from that system, the Chief Justice noted.  A “next generation” improvement in that system is now being developed within the judiciary, he added.

The full year-end report from the Chief Justice of the United States can be accessed at this link. It starts with this amusing paragraph:

On November 10, 1893, the Washington Post identified an emerging technology that was reshaping American society: Pneumatics!  The miracle of compressed air had led to the creation of new contraptions, including pneumatic tube systems that relied on air compressors to transport cylindrical containers hundreds of feet within buildings. Pneumatic tube systems had found favor in banks and department stores, enabling clerks to transmit documents rapidly from one office to another.  Noting this and other applications of pneumatics, the Washington Post lightheartedly proclaimed, “The present era is likely to be known to history as the pneumatic age.”

Kudos to the Supreme Court for being committed to having all its materials on-line for free access to all and to the Chief Justice for effectively explaining the work being done to make this commitment a reality.

January 1, 2015 at 12:12 PM | Permalink


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The lawyer wants everyone else to have full transparency, even if it betrays information detrimental to them. Yet the cult criminal immunizes himself from any accountability whatsoever, in real life, despite statutes to the contrary.

For the sake of the viewer, the bathrooms should be exempt. If it is snitched, they are discussing cases while on the can, add the toilet seats to the record list. But every single other place and activity should be recorded and posted to YouTube in real time, down to Sotomayor picking her nose as Roberts tries to appease this vile feminist lawyer. This waking nightmare for the people of the nation, this seething hate filled, overly entitled affirmative action mistake, running down our country, witch hunting the productive male, while immunizing criminals. Her Ivy treason indoctrination camp took her over students who had better grades and test performances in the same school, from the same deprived backgrounds, because of their need to look pious. She barely speaks English.

The cult criminals are inside our bank, and do not want the security cameras left on.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 1, 2015 7:21:35 PM

You lawyer traitors, find the Clause of the Constitution or of any Amendment allowing judicial review.

Here is Article I, Section 1, from 5th Grade History, geniuses.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Repeal of a law is a legislative power, by any ordinary use of the English language.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 1, 2015 7:29:02 PM



I would agree that the courts have gone far too far in LIMITING THE POWER OF THE OTHER BRANCHES, BUT I see that mostly as a failure of Congress. The Senate should have convicted Chase in 1803.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jan 1, 2015 7:57:40 PM

SH. A review of the legality problems of Marbury v Madison.


A little too technical, but the lawyers understand it, and there is no original research. That stuff is known to all of them.

That decision lay dormant for 50 years, ignored. No judicial review.

Then, the first application is Dred Scott. It cancelled the Missouri Compromise that had prevented war for 30 years. It breached a ratified international treaty settling the border with Canada that included a provision to not spread slavery any farther. It set off the Civil War by making all states slave states. It ended the citizenship of all black people, since they are so inferior.

Lincoln properly issued an arrest warrant for Justice Taney. As he handed it to a federal marshal, a lawyer persuaded Lincoln to pull it back. Taney died slowly, begging people for money.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 2, 2015 12:28:28 AM

Judicial review was well accepted in antebellum times and repeatedly use in state courts to strike down state laws. As to Chase, he was impeached for intemperate actions and mistreating individual litigants. Judges were more partisan in those days (e.g., in their speeches to the jury) but he might have crossed the line. But, his impeachment was also freighted with ideological concerns. Unclear how much that affects the conversation.

"Lest We Be Marshall'd" is an interesting book that covers a controversy over judicial review in Ohio. But, even here, judicial review was soon seen as par for the course.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 2, 2015 8:48:59 PM


I have no problem with judicial review per se, my problem is that with the failure to convict Chase the legislature gave up any pretense of policing the judiciary. It should well take extraordinary actions by the courts to reach that level but I do think they have crossed that line several times in the period since the Civil War (I am not familiar enough with pre-Civil War legal history to have much of an opinion on whether that line was crossed by anyone other than Chase, although I would agree that Tanney at least came close if he did not but conviction for him would have been an absolute impossibility, and even impeachment likely so).

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jan 3, 2015 1:14:58 AM

very nice. Once it's all online maybe someone can find the asshole they have been pulling most of these decisions out of!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 3, 2015 1:39:37 AM

"I have no problem with judicial review per se, my problem is that with the failure to convict Chase the legislature gave up any pretense of policing the judiciary."

A federal judge was removed at that time for his actions, the general understanding is that he was an alcoholic and mentally unfit to serve though his actions was used to remove him. Chase was seen by many as an opening to attack the Federalist judiciary. His intemperate actions was found not to reach removal levels by a Republican Senate.

Since then, several judges were removed. A few in the last twenty five years. I have read one account (David O'Brien) note many more resigned because of fear of impeachment. Lower court judges are also subject to policing by the a system set up by the judiciary itself.

So, I don't know how true your statement is. What did Taney do that required such "policing"? His ruling in Dred Scott? It was wrong, but it was a 7-2 holding. The judiciary was slanted to slavery given the make-up of the court (circuit riding etc. led to five southern circuits, two "doughface" middle ones) as was the politics of the day. Other than his slavery positions, Taney in hindsight was a fairly typical Jacksonian judge, not corrupt or warranting impeachment.

If "policing" means removing judges for making wrong opinions, well, I don't think that is what impeachment is there for myself. The impeachment of Chase was mixed with that. He was only going to be on the Court for a few more years & the impeachment served as a warning. Removal was seen even by Republicans as much as a message against federalist judging. That was seen as a bad precedent.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 3, 2015 12:51:09 PM

ETA: At various times, other moves to police the judiciary was used, including changing (or threatening to) the number of judges, regulating salaries, tinkering with jurisdiction (e.g., three judge courts to deal with single judges seen as ideologically problematic) etc. Impeachment is not the only solution here.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 3, 2015 12:54:25 PM


Every modern judge I am aware of that has been convicted after impeachment or otherwise made to resign was because of actually criminal conduct, not simply because their rulings were unacceptable politically. That is indeed the sort of policing I was referring to that was abandoned with the failure to convict Chase. Impeachment is a political act and thus I see that it should be exercised politically just with a high bar to success (which the 2/3 senate requirement ensures)

An example of a modern judge who I would say should face that possibility is Reinhard; he just flat does not care what law Congress passes or even what rulings the Supreme Court makes.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jan 3, 2015 3:10:52 PM

Impeachment has always been reserved for collateral crimes. Chase was an alcoholic, and quite impaired on the bench. An embarrassment.

One of my points is that their decisions are treasonous, and damaging many orders of magnitude more than any collateral corruption. Hurting our country should the primary reason for impeachment. Send reprimands if the guy went duck hunting with a corporate CEO who paid his way. Who cares.

If the court should be making legislative decisions, such as repealing a law, fine, checks and balances are the sole source of our freedoms. Then equip the court to do so.

Increase its seats to 500, for the wisdom of the crowd.

Mandate an even number of seats, to make it conservative. An even vote lets the lower court decision stand. That lower court decision likely followed a prior Supreme Court precedent. A vote of 250 to 251, does not settle the matter in the mind of the public, and brings opprobrium on the court. It devalues and invalidates the victory of one side.

Move it to Topeka Kansas, in the middle of the country, geographically and culturally.

Limit the term to 20 years to avoid being saddled with the values of 50 years ago, the Hippie Era. Hey, Man, no flowers in your hair. Get a far out job.

Give it an investigative budget so it can get its information independently.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 3, 2015 6:27:51 PM

I agree with Supremacy Clause that the Supreme Court should be moved to the middle of Kansas. I would also put a ban on any appointees from Harvard and Yale until we get that down to one. Geographical diversity. Right now we have six who speak turdy turd and a turd. Experience: none have ever defended a defendant in a criminal felony trial. We need trial lawyers from the Midwest and west and south who understand the land west of the Alleghanies and who have practiced law.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Jan 3, 2015 8:12:27 PM

Harvard and Yale Law grads, not so smart. They just put in 80 hours a week of grinding memorization and all got 4.0 averages except the Blacks and Hispanic affirmative action charity cases. Obama, likely did not have a 4.0 average, a 2.5 would impress me. Not bright. Sotomayor, an idiot, got high grades through intimidation and entitlement bullying.

I heard her speak on a Yale Law school tribute to the Supreme Court with her Yale Law cohorts, Alito, and Thomas. Idiots. Retards. Clueless about their effect or even their jobs. Each appointed by Harvard idiots and affirmative action defectives. If you met her at a party, you would run away from this self-absorbed, idiotic bore. She hardly speaks English.

I spent time in the Midwest. We stayed modest and quiet, but were able to look down on the Ivy League being far more productive in research papers and influential on real world practice. These idiots predominate in Washington because others are too busy being productive in the rest of the nation. Naturally, they are so narcissistic, they have to write a book about their IL, about every time they blow their noses because they are so important. Meanwhile they miss the biggest mind blowing aspect of 1L. It is a criminal cult indoctrination. Goes right over the heads of these book worms.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 4, 2015 6:39:30 PM

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