U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court Should Ditch Dissents, Retired New Hampshire Justice Says in Op-Ed
Posted Jun 12, 2012 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Bitter dissents are diminishing the U.S. Supreme Court’s moral standing and contributing to cynicism about the judicial system, according to a retired New Hampshire Supreme Court justice.
In an opinion column for the Boston Globe, retired justice Joseph Nadeau proposes a solution: Ditch dissenting opinions.
“By eliminating dissenting opinions, which are sometimes longer than the majority opinion, the justices could focus more on crafting one clear opinion than on framing contentious responses,” Nadeau writes. “Any loss of egocentric exposition or subjective satisfaction caused by ending separate opinions would be more than compensated for by the added force, weight, and dignity unified Supreme Court decisions could command. The focus would be upon the rule of law, not upon judicial personalities.”
Nadeau recognizes some “notable dissents” over the years and acknowledges the argument that dissents contribute to the development of the law. But the good is outweighed by “the price extracted by fractured opinions,” he says.
Hat tip to How Appealing.