July 16, 2009

Judicial transparency and the Sotomayor nomination

Apropos of the Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination hearings the Sunlight Foundation has posted online a primer on the ins and outs of how the hearings will proceed. They've also added a few questions they hope will be asked and answered.

Of special note to transparency activists are questions regarding the availability of Court documents and related items. Does Sotomayor support the online availability of every Supreme Court decision made since the founding of the country? How about making all merits and certiorari briefs also available online instead of just the final opinions?

How does she feel about audio and video recordings of Court proceedings? Does she feel the same as David Souter and his strong displeasure at the idea?

Finally, the Sunlight Foundation asks if she'd support making all proceedings in federal courts (filings, orders, opinions, etc.) freely available online instead of the current PACER system that charges for access.

The people's right to know extends to the judiciary as well. Let's hope Sotomayor feels the same way.