Wow. In my article on FantasySCOTUS, I wrote that the “the inner-workings of the [United States Supreme] Court are not fully transparent. They deliberate and assign authorship in private.” I guess the Wisconsin Supreme Court, or at least the Chief Justice, wants to be more transparent:
Abrahamson said in a statement, “Each justice owes the others and the people of the state civility and personal control in our language, demeanor, and temperament in the conference room and on and off the bench. To promote these ends, I will propose to the court at the start of the new term that the presumption will be that court conferences are open to the public.”
Currently, only administrative conferences dealing with budgetary and similar matters are open to the public. Conferences in which justices discuss and decide cases are closed.
So the outcome of cases would be known before the opinino is issued. Would this chill speech? Is it really that much different from the pointed/slanted questions asked at oral arguments.
Could have a chilling effect? Obviously, it would transform the conferences into some kind of public show and not conferences at all.
How would it be fair to the parties for the justices to deliberate in public? How could it be consistent with deciding cases according to the legal texts and precedents to have these preliminary discussions go out to the public? The proposal seems inherently premised on the idea that judges are the equivalent of legislators, voting according to policy preferences and political orientation.
I know one thing for sure. This would RUIN the planned Wisconsin FantasySCOTUS game I’m working on 😉