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Modernize the Supreme Court, FTC's Roth Writes in Washington Post Letter

To the Editor:

I found it odd that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. chose to use his year-end report to troll Americans with a discussion of the 19th-century practice of sending documents around a building via pneumatic tubing [“A 21st-century Supreme Court,” editorial, Jan. 5].

Even minor changes to the Supreme Court’s policies would lead to a much-needed increase in accountability. By releasing the justices’ public schedules on, explaining the reasons for their periodic recusals and posting their financial disclosure reports online, as the president and members of Congress do, the justices could begin conforming to 21st-century expectations of transparency from public officials.

Roberts is unlikely to move on cameras until a pilot program underway in 14 federal courts wraps up this year. Meanwhile, the chief justice should focus on the basic yet important steps he can take to restore or maintain the public’s faith in his institution and bring the Supreme Court out from the age of one type of tubing and into another.

Gabe Roth
Fix the Court
January 9, 2015

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