TEN QUESTIONS I WOULD HAVE ASKED JUDGE SOTOMAYOR
1. Do you believe all judges, including U.S. Supreme Court Justices should be ACCOUNTABLE to the public?
2. The American Bar Association recommended in 2005 that all states in the United States should have a formal system of JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS. Do you agree with the American Bar Association and should there be formal judicial performance evaluations in the federal court system?
3. Most appellate courts including the U.S. Supreme Court do not tell the parties WHY THEY DO NOT TAKE THE CASE. Do you support a requirement that all appellate courts advise the parties in writing why, under the law or the facts, they did not take their particular appellate court case?
4. Many judges READ NEITHER the pleadings nor the record before ruling. Do you support a proposal requiring every judge and court to advise the parties in writing what they read (ie.,pleadings, cases and what part of the record) before they ruled?
5. When it is said we are a nation subject to the RULE OF LAW, which law is it; the Common Law, Natural Law, Statutory Law or Equitable Law?
6. What is LEGAL REALISM? Do you agree with it's precepts?
7. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant," a well-known quote from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, refers to the benefits of openness and transparency. Do you agree that all courts and administrative proceedings should be open to the public and televised? Yes or no.
8. The United States Supreme Court uses CLERK POOLS which means that many cases are rejected even though none of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices have read the briefs and record before the case is refused. Do you believe that at least one Justice should be identified as responsible for each case whether accepted or rejected and certify that they have read the entire record and briefs before a case is refused at the U.S. Supreme Court? Stated another way: If a trial judge may not DELEGATE conducting a trial to his/her law clerks why should an appellate court be able to delegate the handling of an appeal to their law clerks?
9. The University of Chicago Law School studied all of the United STATE HIGH COURTS and reported their findings on competency and productivity in 58 Duke Law Review 1313 (2009). My state was rated at the bottom of the barrel. Have you read this study? Do you agree with their study protocols and findings?
10. About 8,000 litigants annually ask the United States Supreme Court to take their case before that august body. This last term was one of the LEAST PRODUCTIVE with less than 1% of those cases being addressed by the nation's court of last resort. Some judges like to refer to the court system in hospital terms with trial courts being the emergency room. Using that analogy, the U.S. Supreme Court let over 7,000 patients with the most abstruse cases die in the nation's highest appellate court operating theater. Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court should formally improve their productivity, maybe even work harder, and handle more cases?