Determined1

Only lawyers now can argue before Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has changed its rules, preventing Pro Se litigants from having their case heard before our highest court.  I strongly disagree with the message this sends. Free and equal access to all aspects of our legal system for all citizens is a basic principle that should not be changed. The following story highlights the last Pro Se party to argue before the Supreme Court - 30 years ago.

 

See:  http://news.yahoo.com/only-lawyers-now-argue-supreme-court-083024863.html

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http://jurist.org/paperchase/2013/03/supreme-court-rules-for-pro-se-prisoner-in-sovereign-immunity-case.php

 

When SCOTUS gets a writ of certiorari from a pro se litigant, it reviews it, and it decides to grant cert, as it did in this case, it will appoint a lawyer to represent the litigant.  This is what the court did in 1963 in the famous case of "Gideon v. Wainright."  Gideon was a learned pro se litigant; nevertheless, the Sup Crt appointed cousel to represent him before the court.

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I agree Nascar, that would be incredible! Debtzapper, you reminded me of one of my favorite childhood movies. I'm under the impression that certain Pro Se parties had the right for years to argue a case on their own, which is what SCOTUS just ended. Is it possible that the Pro Se rules were different for civil vs. criminal cases?

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I was going to ask "what if the pro se party was not the one taking this to SCOTUS".  But I guess that "appoint an attorney" thing covers it.  But what if the party that wanted to be pro se CAN afford an attorney (I can, so this might apply to me) but has major disagreements with the attorney (as did in the previous court, fired the attorney, argued pro se, and won)?  I can see where this might get into a mess.

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