Rx for the Certiorari Crisis: A More Professional Staff
American Bar Association Journal, Vol. 59, pp. 846-850, (1973)
5 Pages Posted: 18 May 2013
Date Written: August 1973
Responding to a rising tide of petitions for Certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, in the early 1970’s several blue-ribbon study groups recommended ways to reduce the Court’s workload. Differing in many respects, all of the proposals had one common denominator: creation of some sort of new court.
In contrast, this article proposed a solution within the Court’s existing framework. It would alleviate the Certiorari Crisis by creating a small staff of experienced lawyers to assist the justices in screening petitions. The proposal was based on the practice of several state appellate courts that use commissioners to study and make recommendations on the disposition of matters on the Courts’ discretionary docket.
The proposal was never implemented. Instead, a nascent law clerk “cert pool” became institutionalized, which today assists eight of the nine justices in screening Certiorari petitions.
Keywords: appellate courts, Certiorari, commissioners
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