One of the promises of the internet was to make more things available to the people in ways that we never knew before. For the most part, this has come true with a few major exceptions. One of those exceptions has been transparency in the rulings of the Supreme Court of the United States. That appears to be changing soon.
We’ll have to wait until at least next year before we see rulings, briefs, and other filings from the highest court in the land made available to the public through the simplicity of the internet, but at least it’s going to happen. It’s late. This should have been the case for at least a decade, but they have relied on the antiquated techniques of analog communication despite the ease of digital.
Unfortunately, there’s a reason for this that’s not what people want to hear. They will be opening up a firestorm with this move. They’ve known it to be the case, which is why it has taken so long. The inner workings of the Supreme Court has enjoyed avoidance of the scrutiny of the people ever since its inception. While anyone can gain access, very few do because of the trouble that it took to acquire these filings. by putting them online, more people will take advantage of the transparency.
More people digging means more people complaining and even plotting.
According to a report by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr, “The federal courts, including the Supreme Court, must often introduce new technologies at a more measured pace than other institutions, especially those in private industry.”
It has been a long time coming and we may have to wait another year, but progress is progress. We’re far away from televising proceedings, but this is a great step towards improved transparency when it comes to the laws of the land.