Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch made a major change on Wednesday when he opted out of the court’s “cert pool.”
The cert pool is a system that allows new cases to be granted or denied by the court’s clerks. In short, judges who use the cert pool will have cases approved or denied by clerks that work for any of the Supreme Court Justices.
Gorsuch decided to opt out of the program, ensuring that all of his cases are overlooked by his own personal clerk.
Conservative Tribune reports:
Either he feels misgivings about the political leanings of the others, or he simply trusts his own clerks over those of the other justices.
Either way, this decision illustrates his independence, according to The Times, though it also sets his office up for a boatload of work. As noted by CNN, the Supreme Court receives an average of nearly 8,000 new petitions per year. Mind you, if Gorsuch shares the same attitude as retired Justice John Paul Stevens, who also opted out of the pool, he won’t mind.
“I never thought it was the right way to do it, and I still feel the same way,” Stevens reportedly said during an interview 11 years ago for the American Bar Association’s “Litigation” journal. “I have my clerks go through everything. If I think there’s a significant likelihood, before I vote to grant, I’ll get the papers, and I generally read the papers myself and at least read the opinion.”
Gorusch deserves credit for being independent and for taking responsibility for his decisions. The cert pool system isn’t fair and often promotes laziness in the Supreme Court.
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