“Renting Judges for Secret Rulings”

Wow, what a lousy Star Chamberish idea! This is an opinion piece from the New York Times by the highly regarded Yale Law professor, Judith Resnick: Renting Judges for Secret Rulings – NYTimes.com. It begins:

NEW HAVEN — SHOULD wealthy litigants be able to rent state judges and courthouses to decide cases in private and keep the results secret?

The answer should be an easy no, but if the judges of Delaware’s Chancery Court persuade the United States Supreme Court to take their case and reverse lower federal court rulings outlawing that practice, corporations will, in Delaware, be able to do just that.

I’m assuming such secret court proceedings, if Delaware gets the decision it wants from the U.S. Supreme Court, will further “secretize” and support the secret non-disclosure/non-disparagement clauses that might emerge from any undisclosable settlement made in secret. We’re getting awfully secret, aren’t we?

And since case law — which is of course an amplification of the Constitution — won’t emerge from these secret proceedings, other lawyers won’t have supportive references to use in their arguments. That is, the body of reference known as case law will be diminished.

I suppose this will please the simple-minded supporters of what is now deceptively called “originalism,” (I’m talkin’ to you, Scalia) but it certainly won’t make any Constitutional scholar with an intellectual capacity happy.

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