Friday 16 April 2010
Supreme Court Justices Breyer & Thomas at budget hearing
The Blog of LegalTimes reports that Justices Breyer and Thomas spoke at the Supreme Court's annual budget hearing before the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on financial services and general government. Among the topics they answered questions about were the size of the Court's docket (about 75 cases a year, down from twice that 25 years ago); law clerk diversity (or rather lack of diversity); and cameras in the courtroom. Justice Breyer offered the theory that that the Court's docket tends to increase a few years after passage of a major piece of federal legislation, and in a few years the Court will be considering many more cases because of litigation over the newly passed health care bill. In the discussion about law clerk diversity, Rep. Barbara Lee, (D-CA)urged the Court to issue an "edict" announcing its desire for more minority applicants and asked for a report from the Court on the demographics of its clerks. And Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) urged the Court to allow cameras, saying it is increasingly anachronistic to keep cameras out.