The Houston Chronicle has an online article titled “Report says most Texas Supreme Court opinions anonymous”.
The “report” of the headline is from Texas Watch. The newspaper quotes the group:
“All too often, the Texas Supreme Court uses per curiam opinions as a shield to hide behind when they render decisions that are controversial, leaving them unaccountable to voters,” the group wrote in the report. “By relying too heavily on unsigned per curiam opinions, the court operates in the shadows, allowing little public scrutiny and failing to light the way for future jurists.”
Although it’s easy to see how signing an opinion would facilitate an attack ad, I’m puzzled about how signing an opinion would better “light the way for future jurists.”
When Texas Watch releases its report (the newspaper article is just a teaser), I’ll let you know if there is something interesting that isn’t already in this OCA activity report that counts the Court’s signed versus unsigned opinions for the term and also gives a breakdown by Justice (see page 4). (The real statistics are pretty interesting on their own, showing a concentration of per curiams in just a few chambers. I’m not sure how that would relate to the theme Texas Watch has chosen for this report. I’ll have to wait and see.)