As the Supreme Court heads into the final stretch of the term, Fix the Court is calling attention to the fact that the justices don’t let the public know which decisions it’s releasing when, and FTC executive director Gabe Roth released the following statement:
The arbitrary nature by which the Supreme Court releases its end-of-term decisions is like a high school math teacher giving a pop quiz in chemistry the day you’re supposed to have a test on fractions.
It’s yet another example of how the court acts differently from the other branches, as the President doesn’t give an unannounced State of the Union address, and Congress doesn’t hold a surprise hearing. Both branches give notice of their events and subject matter well in advance.
While we know which days the justices will announce decisions, that we won’t know which until Chief Justice Roberts opens the session demonstrates the court doesn’t much care about being an open and honest part of our democracy.
Update (6/28): The National Law Journal‘s Tony Mauro reports on this phenomenon, noting that Monday, June 29, is the only day of the term, since it’s the last one, in which the public will know in advance which decisions the justices will be handing down.